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Hungary blocks 50-billion-euro EU aid for Ukraine

by Olena Goncharova December 15, 2023 5:30 AM 1 min read
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban gestures as he talks to the media after arriving at the European headquarters for the EU-Western Balkans summit in Brussels on Dec. 14, 2023. (John Thys/AFP via Getty Images)
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Hungary has obstructed the European Union's endorsement of a financial assistance package for Ukraine consisting of 50 billion euros ($55 billion), following EU leaders' formal approval to commence accession negotiations with Ukraine, marking a significant milestone for Kyiv in its efforts to strengthen support from its allies.

"Summary of the nightshift: veto for the extra money to Ukraine," Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban posted on social media after talks in Brussels. EU leaders said talks on aid for Ukraine would resume early next year.

Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, overseeing the proceedings, informed the media that 26 EU member countries expressed support for providing financial assistance to Ukraine, with one member withholding approval.

“One leader couldn’t agree on this,” Michel said at a news conference at 3 a.m. local time on Dec. 15, according to the New York Times. Michel added that the leaders would reconvene to try to secure unanimity —which is required for this decision — in “early January.”

Orban, known for previously impeding certain EU sanctions against Russia and perceived as President Vladimir Putin's foremost ally within the bloc, said earlier on Dec. 14 that the assistance should be provided only after the upcoming Europe-wide elections scheduled for the summer.

BREAKING: European Council agrees to open accession talks with Ukraine, Moldova
The European Council has agreed to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova, European Council President Charles Michel announced on Dec. 14.
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