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Ambassador to EU reveals strategies to bypass Hungary's veto on €50B for Ukraine

Ambassador to EU reveals strategies to bypass Hungary's veto on €50B for Ukraine Victor Orban (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

If Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban imposes a veto at the February summit of the European Union on approving a 50 billion euro aid package for Ukraine, there are several ways for Brussels to allocate such funding despite Budapest's position, states the Ukrainian Ambassador to the European Union, Vsevolod Chentsov, in his interview with Forbes Ukraine.

The diplomat mentions "alternative options" through which the EU could provide macro-financial assistance to Ukraine from 2024-2027 without Hungary's consent. These include:

  • The creation of a Ukrainian Fund that would operate for four years within the EU budget.
  • The establishment of an off-budget fund where EU member states can make contributions.
  • The European Commission borrowing assistance under its guarantee, involving macro-financial aid in the context of periodic borrowings from the EC under guarantees.

The ambassador referrs to the first option as "cheap and convenient," and it is given preference.

"Hungary is aware of other options. Any country cannot constantly engage in veto. Hungary and other member states have national interests. They are forced to work with other countries to remain a normal country that can not only block but also work constructively within the EU," he expresses his opinion.

  • However, the diplomat acknowledges that in the end, there may be "some safeguards or options for reviewing financial indicators." Last year, the EU provided approximately 18 billion euros to cover the budget deficit, and this year, the figures are expected to be similar, explained Chentsov.

The ambassador adds that the future amount of borrowing will depend on needs.

Hungary's blocking of 50 billion euros from the EU to Ukraine

In mid-December 2023, Hungary blocked the decision to allocate 50 billion euros to Ukraine for 2024-2027 during the summit of EU leaders.

Now, the question of aid to Ukraine will be considered at the EU summit on February 1. However, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban threatens to block it. Budapest demands concessions from the EU in exchange for approving the package.

In light of this, a petition has been initiated in the European Parliament to strip Hungary of its voting rights in the EU Council, and the required number of signatures has already been collected.

Also, on January 17, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed confidence that all EU members would approve the 50 billion euro aid to Ukraine.

Read more about how the EU is negotiating about Ukraine and whether Orban will be deprived of the veto right in the material by RBC-Ukraine.