Following the February 1 summit, the European Union is considering taking tough measures against Hungary for impeding assistance to Ukraine. This move is expected to be implemented if Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán obstructs the approval of a 50 billion euro aid package for Ukraine during a special EU summit, according to sources cited by Bloomberg.
“Hungary on Monday opposed a bid within the bloc to create a new fund to ensure a more reliable way of delivering crucial military aid to Ukraine. The move comes after Orban torpedoed a joint European decision on the four-year financial package for Ukraine in mid-December,” Bloomberg writes.
EU members are prepared to approve the aid package for Ukraine at the summit in Brussels on February 1, despite Hungary’s objections, according to sources.
“If Orban continues to block the support package, there will be a decision of the remaining EU 26 to pass it and preparations for such a scenario are well advanced, the officials added,” states the publication.
There is also a possibility that the rest of the European countries will assist Ukraine outside the EU’s budgetary process. If Hungary obstructs the decision, the European Union may initiate the next stage of punitive measures against Hungary, including potentially depriving it of its voting rights as a member country.
Bloomberg reports that such a development could lead to a broader confrontation, as Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico warned that he would defend Hungary against losing its voting rights in the EU.
Hungary is opposing the revision of the existing financing mechanism via the European Peace Facility, a process that compensates member states for supplying weapons to Ukraine. Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó is scheduled to discuss this matter with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, on January 29.
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.