NewsHungary threatens to veto aid to Ukraine: The EU plans to circumvent Orbán

Hungary threatens to veto aid to Ukraine: The EU plans to circumvent Orbán

The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban
The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban
Images source: © GETTY | Anadolu Agency
ed. MMIK
9:35 AM EST, December 9, 2023

The European Union is resolute in its commitment to provide Ukraine with needed financial aid, regardless of potential opposition from Hungary. Budapest, spearheaded by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, has indicated possible plans to veto financial aid proposals for Ukraine, which could amount to approximately $56 billion until 2027. This could also hinder the initiation of accession negotiations with Kyiv.

According to reports by PAP based on information from Reuters, a high-ranking EU official has iterated that there is a potential strategy to support Kyiv despite Hungary's potential objections in the upcoming summit. Such a move by Budapest could significantly set back Ukraine, already strained from almost two years of conflict with Russia. The source emphasized the importance of EU support for Kyiv, stating: "European leaders are responsible. At least twenty-six," implying that the majority of member countries are prepared to assist Ukraine.

Is there an alternative?

The same EU official stated with certainty that their leaders will uphold their promise to support Ukraine, despite any possible blockade by Orbán. According to the source, smaller sums for shorter periods could be granted as an alternative measure. The remaining 26 EU member states could also augment their bilateral aid to Ukraine.

Previously, the European Union has extended financial support to Ukraine. This year it approved a grant of $20 billion, albeit Hungary resisted the decision until the final moment in December of the prior year. They eventually consented, expressing that they had secured concessions on frozen EU funds.

Optimism for a compromise

The source expressed optimism for a compromise, but simultaneously highlighted that "Hungarian hooliganism presents challenges in our policy related to Russia's attack on Ukraine".

Before the EU summit, an expected decision to allow Budapest access to $11 billion is anticipated.

Diplomats argue that if Orbán were to block the initiation of accession talks with Ukraine, analogous accession efforts by Georgia and Bosnia would likely falter as well.

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