Shock: EU-country vetoes massive EU aid package for Ukraine

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.15 - 2023 10:34 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has exercised his veto power, blocking a significant 50 billion euro (approximately $55 billion) financial aid package from the European Union to Ukraine. Orbán announced the decision on his social media platform, indicating a postponement of the matter to the next year for further deliberation in the European Council.

European Council President Charles Michel confirmed the inability of EU leaders to reach a consensus on the aid package for Ukraine as part of the EU budget plan.

While Michel refrained from directly naming the opposing country, it was clear that Hungary was the sole member state against the proposed aid. The EU plans to revisit this issue at the beginning of the next year.

This development has prompted reactions from other European leaders, including Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. According to BBC News, Rutte expressed optimism about reaching an agreement on long-term aid for Ukraine in 2024.

He reassured that Ukraine's immediate financial stability is not at risk, stating, "We still have some time, Ukraine is not out of money in the next few weeks."

Orbán's veto follows a pattern of opposition to various EU decisions regarding Ukraine, including the start of accession talks for Ukraine's EU membership. Notably, Orbán was absent from the meeting where this particular vote took place, allowing other EU leaders to proceed with the unanimous decision-making process.

The Hungarian Prime Minister's move to block the aid package has significant implications for Ukraine, especially amidst its ongoing conflict and economic challenges. The delay in financial support highlights the complexities and divergences within EU member states on foreign policy matters, particularly regarding Ukraine.

As the EU grapples with these internal differences, the fate of the substantial aid package for Ukraine hangs in the balance, with its potential approval deferred to next year's discussions.

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