Budapest Pushes Harder For EU Opening To Ukraine; PM Says Admission Of Post-Communist States Too Slow

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- The European Union should go ahead with signing an Association Agreement with Ukraine, the Hungarian foreign minister said on Monday.

Tibor Navracsics

Failure to sign the pact at the Vilnius summit in November would be “a missed opportunity” with “immeasurable consequences”, Janos Martonyi said, opening the 6th Europe-Ukraine in Budapest.

Another benefit of the agreement would be to boost the Eastern Partnership programme, he said.

Eastern Partnership and EU-Ukraine relations risk being eclipsed by several high-profile events taking place in 2014, he said.

Hopefully, member states which are currently undecided on the agreement will sign the pact in the end, he added.

Tibor Navracsics, a deputy prime minister, said that Hungary has gained lots of experience over the past three years that could also be useful for Partnership countries. 

The Eastern Partnership is aimed at enhancing relations with the post-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Post-communist states should have joined EU earlier.

PM says Post-communist countries should have joined the European Union just after the collapse of their dictatorships, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday.

Had they joined then, the EU would be in a stronger position today, Orban said in a lecture at Helsinki University.

Orban, paying a one-day official visit to Finland, also said efforts to integrate Balkan countries into mainstream Europe should press ahead, he said.

A strong Europe requires strong nations, he said.

Source: Magyar Távirati Iroda