On the eve of the summit, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has expressed his willingness to support EU financial aid to Ukraine, but with a condition. He is open to lifting his veto on the aid if it is reviewed annually, rather than being introduced permanently within the next four years. This would allow EU countries to decide whether to continue sending money to Ukraine on a yearly basis.
Brussels had initially planned to review the 2024-2027 financial framework to approve 50 billion euros in aid to Ukraine. However, Hungary’s reluctance to modify the common budget and set long-term objectives has led to the blocking of a consensus among the Twenty-Seven.
As the leaders’ summit approaches, Orbán has reiterated his concerns about the budget amendment and the EU’s promise of a substantial amount of aid. He emphasized that Hungary is willing to participate in finding a solution if it is guaranteed that they can decide annually whether to continue sending the aid.
Orbán also addressed the leaked document published by the ‘Financial Times’, which revealed an alleged European plan to boycott the Hungarian economy if the veto was maintained. He expressed confidence in the existence of this document, stating that they are experienced in international politics and are sure that it exists.
The Hungarian Prime Minister’s proposal has been met with criticism from some countries, who interpret it as an open door to annual “blackmail”. Orbán has pushed back against these accusations, pointing out that it is his government that has been accused of exerting pressure, such as conditioning the disbursement of European funds.
In summary, Orbán’s offer to support EU aid to Ukraine is contingent on an annual review of the aid, allowing countries to decide whether to continue sending money. This proposal has sparked debate and criticism from other EU members, as tensions continue to rise ahead of the leaders’ summit.
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