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Ukraine will still receive 50 billion euros, but "Putin's friend" Orban has set his own conditions

Roman KostyuchenkoNews
Orban wants money for unblocking aid to Ukraine
Orban wants money for unblocking aid to Ukraine

Hungary's failure to provide Ukraine with €50 billion in EU aid does not mean that the country will not receive the money. The EU Council did reach agreement in principle on this issue, although the decision itself was postponed. At the same time, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is called "Putin's friend," has already stated that he will agree to lift his veto only after he receives tens of billions of euros from the EU.

Thus, at the summit of EU leaders on December 14, a decision was reached in principle to create a €50 billion Ukraine Facility for 2024-2027, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry explained. "This is a clear signal that the EU's financial support for Ukraine will continue. We expect all the necessary legal procedures to be completed in January 2024, which will allow us to receive the appropriate funding as soon as possible," the statement said.

This was confirmed by the President of the European Council Charles Michel. According to him, the European Union intends to fulfill its promise and provide assistance to Ukraine. Michel emphasized that 26 out of 27 member states support the decision on Ukraine. This actually indicates the unanimity of the intention to transfer funds.

"We are still able to make unanimous decisions. Now we have reached almost unanimity, the support of all but one vote. Ukraine can count on our support, there is a strong political will of 26 leaders to approve this "mega package," he said.

At the same time, the President of the European Council assured that the EU has the tools to achieve this decision. However, he did not specify whether the Union would go ahead with its adoption bypassing Hungary's veto, which is a possibility in EU financial matters. "We have different tools to ensure that we fulfill our political promise," Michel said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine added that 50 billion euros from the EU will be used, in particular, to support macroeconomic stability. The funds will help restore and modernize the country, as well as accelerate integration into the EU.

They also called on the EU to approve the new eighth tranche of assistance under the European Peace Fund as soon as possible. "We support the European Council's proposal to accelerate work on reforming the EPF and increasing its funding to meet Ukraine's military needs," the Foreign Ministry said.

In addition, the Ukrainian ministry welcomed the EU Council's decision to start negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the bloc, which was made without Hungary's participation. "We expect the European Commission to start preparing a mandate for negotiations and an analytical assessment of Ukrainian legislation (screening) as soon as possible," the Foreign Ministry said.

Orban wants money

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that he would agree to provide assistance to Ukraine only after he receives all the funds frozen by the European Union due to problems with the rule of law in his country, Bloomberg reports. It is about 30 billion euros, 10 billion of which have already been unblocked by the European Commission.

"This is a great opportunity for Hungary to make it clear that it should get everything that is due to it," he said. He also added that Hungary, although it abstained from voting on Ukraine's EU membership negotiations, could still veto Ukraine's accession at a later stage.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, the EU had to unblock €10 billion in aid to Hungary in order for the country to stop blocking aid to Ukraine. Also, it is the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban that is slowing down the process of starting negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU.

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