Skip to content
Edit post

Guardian: EU set to unlock part of frozen funds for Hungary

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 8, 2023 8:47 PM 2 min read
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrives at EU Leaders Summit on Oct. 26, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium. (Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

The European Commission is expected to unlock 10 billion euros ($10.7 billion) in frozen funds for Hungary, the Guardian reported on Dec. 8, citing anonymous diplomatic sources.

The funds, which constitute about a third of Hungary's total suspended funding, will likely be released on Dec. 12, according to the media outlet.

The Guardian’s report comes while Hungary is ramping up its opposition to the EU's further support for Ukraine, including a $53 billion funding package for Ukraine's recovery.

Sources told the Guardian the alleged release of Hungary's funds was unrelated to the "blackmailing" of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has threatened to block Ukraine's accession to the EU.

"The timing is unfortunate because it looks like horsetrading, but it is not," one diplomat said.

The EU's executive body has frozen the total sum of around 22 billion euros allocated for Hungary's economic development over fears of democratic backsliding and rule-of-law issues.

Rise of populism in Ukraine’s neighborhood: Not as gloomy as you think
Slovakia’s new Prime Minister, Robert Fico, is consistent in his comments that his country will stop providing aid to Ukraine. He also regularly parrots Russian propaganda, blaming Kyiv for Russia’s invasion. This makes two of them, with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban long being accused of b…

According to the Guardian's sources, the European Commission decided to unlock the $10.7 billion since Budapest has completed necessary judicial reforms. The remaining funds will reportedly remain blocked due to a lack of compliance with other rule-of-law criteria.

At the same time, Hungarian civil society representatives and some of the country's lawmakers have argued that Budapest has not actually fully completed the reforms, the media outlet added.

Some two weeks earlier, the EU approved $980 million in advance payments for Hungary from frozen recovery funds.

Since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Hungary has repeatedly obstructed EU support for Kyiv, opposed sanctions against Russia, and now threatens to thwart Ukraine's EU aspirations.

Orban, who maintains close ties with the Kremlin, has refused to provide military aid to Ukraine and claimed that Kyiv's counteroffensive was destined to fail.

Exclusive: New insights point to Hungary’s collaboration with Moscow on transfer of Ukrainian POWs
In early June, a bizarre and mysterious joint operation was carried out between two of Ukraine’s neighbors, one to the east and one to the west. Eleven Ukrainian soldiers, after having been held in Russian captivity for an unknown amount of time, were moved from Russia to Hungary. Although
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

11:34 PM

Bloomberg: Seizure of frozen Russian assets legal, experts say.

A letter signed by international legal experts argues that the seizure of frozen Russian central bank assets to aid Ukraine would be lawful given Russia's "ongoing breach of the most fundamental rules of international law," Bloomberg reported on Feb. 21.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
9:04 PM

Reuters: EU to remove Yandex co-founder from Russian sanctions list.

EU countries agreed to remove Arkady Volozh, co-founder of Russia's most popular search engine Yandex, from the list of sanctions against entities and individuals associated with Russia's war against Ukraine, Reuters reported on Feb. 21, citing three unnamed sources familiar with the discussions.
2:48 PM

Polish border protests threaten Ukraine-Poland relations

The Kyiv Independent visited the Shehyni-Medyka border crossing at the Polish-Ukrainian border on Feb. 14 where hundreds of trucks are unable to enter Ukraine as protestors block the border. With no end to the dispute in sight, Polish-Ukrainian relations are at risk of fraying.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.