EU Commissioner Sinkevičius: Hungary's actions blocking Western defence against Russia 'shameful'

Virginijus Sinkevičius during a visit to Borodyanka
Virginijus Sinkevičius during a visit to Borodyanka Copyright Euronews
By Shona Murray with Euronews
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EU Commissioner Sinkevičius claims the Hungarian prime minister is "isolated" among other EU leaders, and that his actions only serve Europe's enemies in the Kremlin.

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EU Commissioner for Environment, Virginijus Sinkevičius has described Hungary’s continuous blocking of important milestones in the West’s defence against Russia as “shameful”.

“It’s shameful” - he said, speaking to Euronews - "to postpone decisions; not to have a vote on Sweden joining NATO, these are obvious actions against collective security."

"It’s against the interests of the EU, against the interests of the Western world. And that’s something that can only satisfy one side: the Moscow regime," he said.

Victor Orbán's pre-Christmas refusal to support a €50 billion lifeline for Ukraine resulted in the European Union scrambling to find other legal avenues to provide Kyiv with much needed liquidity.

Ultimately, Orbán relented, but not before insisting that every EU leader attend an extraordinary meeting in Brussels to address the issue.

Moreover, Orbán has the power to block innumerable roads toward a bolstered, strong Ukraine, particularly as it applies to becoming a member of the EU and NATO. Hungary is also currently holding up talks on a thirteenth sanctions package against Russia for its full scale invasion of Ukraine.

“I think the only good thing is that he more or less isolated”, Sinkevičius said on Orbán. Out of the 27 EU member states, Hungary was the only one to block the aid package.

Euronews spoke to Commissioner Sinkevičius in Ukraine, as he was on a visit to meet with President Zelenskyy to discuss EU’s support to Kyiv.

"Making commitments on a month-by-month basis was a mistake"

There is serious apprehension in Ukraine regarding the stability of Western support after two years of a gruelling, country-wide territorial invasion.

Concerns about supplies of basic ammunition, missiles, anti-air guided missiles and other military hardware have been expressed for some time. Sinkevičius said making commitments to the Ukrainian military only on a month-by-month basis was a mistake.

He says the constant brinkmanship over aid to Ukraine aid is only serving the Kremlin, and a long-term plan for Ukraine is required. 

"The war won’t be over in one month or the next". he added.

“For Europe, for the Western world, it’s extremely important that we have a plan to support Ukraine, because now this decision-making, where it’s so long when we have to fight for every decision, that sends a very positive signal to Moscow, and a very negative to Ukraine."

“And we have to be planning years ahead. I think the mistake is that we’re still thinking that one month or another month, it can be over".

“But we see that Russia is gambling exactly on that. They’re waiting for elections in the US, on elections in the EU, there might be a completely different EU. We’re already seeing some of the new governments of the EU who are not so supportive of Ukraine.”

Correspondent Shona Murray spoke to Commissioner Sinkevičius in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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