Hungary blocks EU financial assistance of EUR 18 billion for Ukraine

9 November 2022, 12:33 PM
Hungary often blocks aid to Ukraine (Photo:Szabolcs Toth/Unsplash)

Hungary often blocks aid to Ukraine (Photo:Szabolcs Toth/Unsplash)

Hungary has told EU finance ministers at a meeting in Brussels that it won’t support the necessary changes to prepare an EUR 18 billion package to support Ukraine next year, Bloomberg reported, referring to confidential sources.

The European Commission will propose on Nov. 9, to provide soft loans to Kyiv on a more stable basis, but this initiative will require the use of additional funds from the EU budget.

The votes of all 27 EU governments are needed to secure funding for this initiative, but Hungarian Finance Minister Mihaly Varga has told his colleagues that he wouldn’t vote for it.

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And earlier, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said his country wouldn't support the macro-financial assistance to Ukraine planned by the EU.

Hungary has already supported the decision of the European Commission to jointly raise debt for recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, but it hasn't yet received it's part of the funding.

The EU's executive plans to discuss the status of those recovery funds in a meeting on Nov. 22, as well as whether Hungary will be able to meet an end-of-year deadline to access these recovery funds in a dispute under EU rule of law requirements. Officials are still working on an assessment of 17 Hungarian anti-corruption laws the Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban's government has promised to implement.

"They punished us, openly blackmailing us with EU money," Orban said in an interview with German newspaper Zeitung last month, responding to the holdup in the EU COVID-19 recovery funds for Hungary.

"But there's no legal basis for this — it's pure blackmail."

According to the EU’s funding initiative for Ukraine, next year Brussels plans to provide Kyiv with EUR 1.5 billion in aid per month.

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