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European Commission to unfreeze €10 billion for Hungary

European Commission to unfreeze €10 billion for Hungary Photo: European Commission plans to unfreeze €10 billion for Hungary (Getty Images)

The European Commission is planning to unfreeze 10 billion euros for Hungary next week. This is the third part of the overall suspended financing for the country, reports The Guardian.

EU diplomats have tried to justify this move, claiming it is not due to alleged blackmail from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has repeatedly threatened to block negotiations on Ukraine's EU accession at the upcoming summit of leaders on Thursday and Friday.

"It's an unfortunate timing because it looks like horse-trading, but it's not," said one diplomat.

Not all the money will be unfrozen for Hungary

According to sources, the European Commission can't do anything about the timing since Hungary has implemented the requested judicial reforms necessary to unlock part of the suspended funds. Another portion of the funding will remain frozen due to non-compliance with other rule-of-law criteria.

"For the first time, Hungary really responded to our requests and did everything to ensure the independence of the judiciary, so the money will be allocated," said a source.

In December of last year, four conditions regarding the independence of the judiciary were set, and the Hungarian government claimed to have fulfilled the EU's requirements. However, Hungarian civil society groups and some members of the European Parliament argue that Hungary has not fully completed the reforms.

Hungary's stance on Ukraine's EU membership

In November, the European Commission released a progress report on Ukraine and other countries on the path to EU accession. The document recommended starting accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova.

In early December, Hungary's ruling party called on the government not to start negotiations on Ukraine's EU accession.

Earlier, we reported that, according to a Radio Free Europe journalist, Hungary would block Ukraine-related issues at the EU summit.

Furthermore, why Hungary is blocking Ukraine's entry into the European Union and what Orban wants - read in the material from RBC-Ukraine.