Hungary’s Orban blocks aid for Ukraine, says he can still halt EU accession


BRUSSELS: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday (Dec 15) stood by his choice to veto a €50-billion (US$54.94 billion) EU help package deal for Ukraine and stated he might nonetheless halt Kyiv’s accession to the bloc after membership talks got the inexperienced gentle.

At a summit in Brussels on Thursday, different European Union leaders bypassed objections from Orban by getting him to depart the room whereas they took the historic step of agreeing to start out accession negotiations with a rustic at struggle.

However they may not overcome resistance from Orban – who maintains shut ties to Russia – to a revamp of the bloc’s funds to channel very important monetary help to Ukraine and supply more money for different EU priorities comparable to managing migration.

The breakthrough on a membership path got here at a essential time for Ukraine with its counter-offensive towards Russian invasion forces having didn’t make main positive aspects and with US President Joe Biden to date unable to get a US$60 billion package for Kyiv by the US Congress.

Orban informed state radio on Friday that he needed to block the help package deal to Ukraine – a part of a broader multi-year funds plan – to ensure Hungary will get the funds it desires from the EU funds.

“I’ve all the time stated that if somebody desires to change the funds – and so they need to – then it’s a nice alternative for Hungary to make it clear that it should get what it’s entitled to. Not half of it, or one-fourth,” he stated.

The EU leaders ended talks on the monetary package deal, which requires unanimity, within the early hours of Friday morning and stated they might attempt once more in January, with some voicing optimism a deal may very well be clinched then.

If there isn’t a deal at the moment, member states might additionally present help individually or strike separate offers.

As for the choice to agree to start out membership talks with Ukraine, hailed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a victory for Ukraine and Europe, Orban pressured the talks could be very lengthy – and Hungary might nonetheless block the method later.

“It is a dangerous choice,” the nationalist Hungarian chief stated. “Hungary bears no accountability for this, we are able to halt this course of in a while, and if wanted we’ll pull the brakes, and the last word choice might be made by Hungarian parliament.”

The information on the financing struck a bittersweet be aware for Ukraine, coming simply hours after leaders agreed to open membership talks.

Though membership would seemingly be a few years away, the choice on the Brussels summit takes Ukraine a step nearer to its long-term strategic purpose of anchoring itself within the West and liberating itself from Russia’s orbit.

EU leaders have been set to reconvene on Friday to debate different matters together with the Israel-Hamas struggle.



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