€50 billion for Ukraine: Hungary ready for compromise

January 30,2024 526
€50 billion for Ukraine: Hungary ready for compromise

Hungary is ready for a compromise to unlock the aid package for Ukraine from the EU budget, stated Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in an interview with the French publication Le Point.

Budapest will approve the decision “if you guarantee that every year we will decide whether to continue sending this money or not,” said Orbán. “Essentially, this means the possibility for Hungary to block the aid annually,” writes European Pravda.

All EU members will have to approve the annual packages unanimously. “Unfortunately, some countries understand or interpret this position as a means of annual blackmail… Our position is that it’s not about veto blackmail, but about restoring and preserving the unity of the European Union,” says Orbán.

Earlier, the Political Director of the Prime Minister’s Office in Hungary, Balazs Orban, quoted by Reuters, announced that on January 27, Budapest had sent a proposal to Brussels on Saturday showing it was open to using the EU budget for the aid package and issuing common EU debt to finance it if other “caveats” were added. The official statement came a few days before the special EU summit scheduled for February 1.

Earlier, the Financial Times published an article about the possible plans of the EU to sabotage at Hungary’s economy by blocking aid for Ukraine. Commenting on the article, Balazs Orban stated that Brussels is blackmailing Budapest despite the proposed compromise on the €50 billion aid package for Ukraine.

On January 29, a meeting took place in Uzhhorod involving the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, and the Head of the Office of the President, Andrii Yermak.

Hungary respects the administrative territories of Ukraine, as well as Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, but will not supply weapons, stated Szijjártó. Regarding the unlocking of the €50 billion aid, the Hungarian minister said, “As for the €50 billion for Ukraine, this is not a bilateral agreement. This is an issue we will discuss in Brussels.”

The meeting, which aimed to lay the groundwork for talks between Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Viktor Orbán, also touched upon Ukraine’s EU membership, Euro-Atlantic integration, and sectoral cooperation. In addition, Hungary is requesting the restoration of rights for ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia, changed in 2015, Szijjártó mentioned.

On January 12, European parliamentarians collected the necessary signatures to strip Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of voting rights in the EU Council, announced the initiator of the appeal, Finnish MEP Petri Sarvamaa.

Cover: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images


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