Brussels, 3 February 2024 (TDI): Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban pronounced that the country got the guarantees to have a control mechanism over funds it will provide to Ukraine. The decision was reached following a European Council meeting on Thursday.
Orban stated that Hungary has always been ready to agree on a fair deal. It received the assurances needed in exchange for approval of a massive amount of financial aid for Ukraine. The settlement made of control over Ukraine funds is in benefit of both, Hungary as well as European taxpayers.
Additionally, he highlighted, “The 50 billion are not going for weapons so this is not the financial basis of an arms support but it goes to the bankrupt Ukrainian state from collapsing”.
Hungary’s opposition to aid
In December 2023, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban rejected 50 billion euros in European Union aid to Ukraine. This decision came just hours after the group agreed to formally launch membership discussions with Kyiv.
Orban briefly departed the negotiating room in what authorities characterized as a pre-arranged and constructive manner. The other 26 member states proceeded with the vote.
Moreover, he told Hungarian state radio that he pushed for eight hours to persuade his EU counterparts to back down, but he was unable.
Particularly, he remarked that Ukraine’s path to EU membership would be a long one anyhow and parliament in Budapest could still block it if it chose to.
Leaders gathered in Brussels agreed to take up the issue next month after Orban declined to support more assistance for Ukraine’s government.
EU €50bn package for Ukraine
On 1 February 2024, the 27 leaders unanimously agreed on a further €50 billion aid package for Ukraine within the EU budget. The European Council (EUCO) approved of establishing the Ukraine Facility of up to €50 billion for 2024-2027.
Charles Michel, President European Council, reiterated that after nearly two years of war, Ukraine remains and will continue to be a priority.
He underlined their commitment to delivering munitions to Ukraine by the end of the year. This builds on the progress made through the EU Peace Facility.
President Zelenskyy appreciated the decision, stating that Europe displayed the exact kind of togetherness required.
He further added, “This sends a strong message to Moscow that Europe will resist and not be shattered by the damaging waves that the Kremlin is continually generating”.
Brussels to threaten Hungary’s economy
The Russian Embassy in South Africa quoted a Financial Times article. The article stated that the EU is devising a strategy to damage the Hungarian economy if Budapest fails to compromise on the next aid package for Ukraine.
Subsequently, it mentioned that EU leaders may officially announce a complete suspension of funds for Budapest to “scare the markets.”
Two days before the EUCO meeting, Prime Minister Orban revealed that we presented an arrangement proposal. In response, Brussels blackmailed us.
The Brussels blackmail guideline was published in the Financial Times earlier this week. The information is now public, he expressed.
Orban stated, “The European Union is blackmailing Hungary for expressing its views on migration, the conflict in Ukraine, and gender propaganda. It is disregarding the rule of law.”
Lastly, he firmly declared that Hungary will safeguard its interests and cannot be blackmailed.