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Hungary makes new demand to unblock EU funding for Ukraine - Politico

9 January, 2024 Tuesday
15:37

Hungary says it may lift its veto on the EU's €50 billion aid package to Ukraine, provided that funding is reviewed annually

This is stated in the Politico publication.

According to three EU diplomats, Budapest said it could lift its veto provided that the European Council approves a vote to allocate funds on an annual basis.

According to the publication, this would give Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban the opportunity to block funding for Ukraine every year, or to receive concessions from Brussels for lifting the veto.

The article says that Hungary formulated this proposal during a meeting of 27 EU budget experts on Friday and sent the relevant document to the EU Council, which is currently chaired by Belgium.

According to a diplomat familiar with the negotiations, under the Hungarian proposal, the EU would provide Ukraine with 12.5 billion euros annually in grants and loans, which would amount to 50 billion euros over four years, as proposed by the European Commission.

Some EU diplomats are skeptical of this proposal, despite the change in Hungary's rhetoric, which previously strongly opposed any kind of funding for Ukraine.

They point out that the Hungarian proposal would not provide predictability for Ukraine.

"The seven-year EU budget is a multi-year structure, we cannot do this (approve it - ed.) from year to year," said one of the diplomats.

The issue of EU funding for Ukraine is on the agenda of a EU ambassadors' meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

  • On December 14, the European Council decided to start EU accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova, and granted candidate status to Georgia. The EU is ready to start official negotiations on December 18.
  • December 15 Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban vetoes the EU's decision on a €50 billion budget assistance program for Ukraine.
  • Hungary is ready to lift its veto on the EU's proposal to finance Ukraine if the EU unfreezes €30 billion intended for Budapest
  • The EU has found a way to circumvent Orban's blocking of €50 billion in aid for Ukraine and has scheduled an extraordinary summit.
  • On December 21, Orban came up with a new explanation for his opposition to Ukraine's accession to the EU. On the same day, he said he was ready to meet with Zelenskyy.

 
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