NewsEU bypasses Hungary's veto to fund Ukraine's defense with frozen assets

EU bypasses Hungary's veto to fund Ukraine's defense with frozen assets

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Images source: © Agence France-Presse, East News | ATTILA KISBENEDEK

8:46 PM EDT, June 25, 2024

- This is an unprecedented decision. Hungary takes over the EU presidency on July 1, so time will tell how this will end - says Prof. Bogdan Góralczyk in an interview with Wirtualna Polska, commenting on the EU's decision to transfer profits from frozen Russian assets to Ukraine, against Budapest's stance.

The European Union has found a way to bypass Hungary's veto on aid for Ukraine. It concerns profits generated by frozen Russian funds being used to purchase weapons for the defending country. A specially created Ukraine Aid Fund will transfer these profits to Kyiv.

A particular legal procedure was used to achieve this. According to it, Hungary cannot decide on transferring these funds because it abstained from voting on establishing the fund itself. In the first tranche alone, at least 1.3 billion dollars are available for ammunition and anti-aircraft defense.

- This is an unprecedented decision - Prof. Bogdan Góralczyk tells Wirtualna Polska. The former ambassador to Asian countries and diplomat in Hungary, however, has doubts about the effectiveness of this mechanism. He emphasizes that Budapest strongly opposes this decision and is looking for ways to challenge the EU countries' decision.

Expert: decision on Hungary is late

- If these decisions are implemented, Hungary will indeed be "defeated," but Minister Szijjarto's statement proves that Budapest is extremely "combative" - says Prof. Góralczyk. The political scientist cites the words of Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, who stated that "never before has there been such shameless violation and disregard for common European principles."

The expert assesses that the decision on Hungary is late and that the moment for making such decisions is unsuitable for at least two reasons. - We are after the elections; the European Commission is suspended - "it exists only on paper." Hungary takes over the presidency of the European Union on July 1. I suspect that Viktor Orban will want to take advantage of this situation. I think he will do everything to gain something for himself again. This complicates the situation - assesses Prof. Bogdan Góralczyk.

Related content