Hungary may lift its veto on the EU’s €50 billion aid package for Ukraine if the funding undergoes an annual review.
Politico reported, quoting three EU diplomats, that Budapest said it could lift its veto provided that the European Council approves a vote to allocate funds on an annual basis.
According to the media, this would give Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban the opportunity to block funding for Ukraine every year or to receive concessions from Brussels for lifting the veto.
Hungary formulated this proposal during a meeting of 27 EU budget experts and sent a corresponding document to the EU Council, currently chaired by Belgium, as stated in the article.
According to a diplomat familiar with the negotiations, under the Hungarian proposal, the EU would provide Ukraine with 12.5 billion euros annually in grants and loans, which would bring the total to 50 billion euros over four years.
Some EU diplomats are skeptical of this proposal, despite the change in Hungary’s rhetoric, which previously strongly opposed any kind of funding for Ukraine.
They point out that the Hungarian proposal will not provide predictability for Ukraine.
“The EU’s seven-year budget is a multi-year structure; we cannot do this (agree on it) from year to year,” said one of the diplomats.
The EU ambassadors have scheduled a meeting for January 10 to discuss the issue of EU funding for Ukraine.
After the December EU summit, many leaders expressed confidence that the EU would certainly make a decision on financial support for Ukraine at the beginning of the year.
In this regard, the leaders agreed to hold an extraordinary summit on this issue on February 1.
According to media reports, the EU is preparing “Plan B” with 20 billion euros of financial aid for Ukraine in case Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban still blocks the main 50 billion plan.