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EU ready to make concessions to Hungary to secure aid package for Ukraine, FT

EU ready to make concessions to Hungary to secure aid package for Ukraine, FT Photo: President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen (Getty Images)

The European Commission is ready to compromise on certain demands from Hungary in order to secure a 50 billion euro allocation for Ukraine, reports The Financial Times.

It is reported that Brussels is attempting to find a solution to the issue of the Hungarian blockade since Prime Minister Viktor Orban vetoed the EU package of measures in December.

The problem becomes even more pressing considering the impasse in the U.S. Congress, leading to uncertainty in Washington's support for Kyiv while Russia intensifies airstrikes on Ukrainian cities.

Three officials familiar with the matter stated that, as a way to persuade Orban to lift his veto, the European Commission is willing to offer the Hungarian Prime Minister the opportunity to halt the funding operation halfway through 2025.

According to the potential move, the EU will include a review of the four-year support package next year, assessing whether Ukraine needs funds and whether it has fulfilled the requirements for EU assistance. This would allow Orban to veto its extension.

The European Commission is also prepared to conduct an annual audit of aid and introduce an "emergency brake" clause, allowing any country to express serious concerns about payments to Ukraine for discussion at EU leaders' summits. However, this would not give Hungary an additional opportunity to veto funding.

Responding to whether this would be enough for Orban to lift his veto, a high-ranking Hungarian official said, "Still uncertain, but I say most probably yes."

Orban's position

Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, refuses to provide military assistance to Ukraine following the commencement of Russia's full-scale invasion. Additionally, he continues to maintain cooperative relations with Moscow despite its aggression.

Hungary has repeatedly exercised its veto power within the European Union when discussing matters related to aid for Ukraine.

In particular, Orban recently blocked an initiative that proposed allocating 50 billion euros to Ukraine.