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Ukraine receives 1.5 billion euros from EU in second tranche of financial aid

by Chris York April 24, 2024 2:02 PM 2 min read
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Sept. 13, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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A second tranche of EU macro-financial assistance totaling 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) has been given to Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on April 24.

The EU approved the four-year Ukraine Facility in February, allocating 33 billion euros ($35 billion) in loans and 17 billion euros ($18 billion) in grants.

The first tranche of 4.5 billion euros ($4.8 billion) was given to Ukraine on March 20.

"Ukraine is carrying a heavy burden on its shoulders for all of us. Today, we disburse an additional (1.5 billion euros), under the (50 billion euros) Ukraine Facility," von der Leyen said in a post on X.

"This is vital to keep Ukraine's state & services running while it fights back the aggressor. Europe remains united and resolute," she added.

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Von der Leyen's claim that Europe is "united" is slightly undermined by vocal yet so far ineffective opposition to the aid from Hungary, which has accused Ukraine of carrying out a "witch hunt" against Hungarian businesses operating in the country.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on April 22 said in response his country would black the latest tranche, despite the four-year Ukraine Facility agreed on by all 27 EU leaders – including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban – in February.

What mechanism Hungary could use to block tranches of aid is unclear, as Orban's request to review it on an annual basis was rejected at the time.

Szijjarto's latest complaint against Ukraine was in relation to allegations that the country was planning to revoke several of the distribution permits for medicine from the Hungarian pharmaceutical company Richter.

Budapest has repeatedly blocked financial and military aid to Ukraine and is broadly seen as the most Kremlin-proximate EU country.

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