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Head of the European Commission urges bloc to support Ukraine 'as long as it takes'

Head of the European Commission urges bloc to support Ukraine 'as long as it takes' Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Maria Kholina

Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has urged the European Union to support Ukraine as much as needed. The EU leaders' summit is set to approve 50 billion euros for Kyiv and the start of membership negotiations, according to Reuters.

"As the war drags on, we must prove what it means to support Ukraine for as long as it takes," Ursula von der Leyen said in the European Parliament ahead of the EU leaders' summit scheduled for December 14-15.

The European Commission proposed that the summit this week should make a decision to initiate membership negotiations with Ukraine in the EU as soon as it fulfills four previously outlined conditions, expressing the possibility of this happening in March, as mentioned by an EU representative in Brussels.

Von der Leyen mentioned that the laws adopted by Ukraine last week, including those concerning national minorities, addressing issues raised by Hungary, fulfill three out of the four tasks, indicating that only one is lacking: a new lobbying law to rein on oligarchs.

EU summit and Hungary's stance

Ukraine expects a positive signal about its future in the European Union and financial assistance from the summit, as the country becomes increasingly strained after nearly two years of war against Russian aggression.

Although EU officials claim they can bypass Hungary's resistance to the proposal of providing Ukraine with 50 billion euros in economic aid until 2027, advancing Ukraine's European aspirations requires unanimous support from all 27 bloc member states.

Hungary is prepared to lift its veto on the EU's proposal for substantial financing for Ukraine in exchange for billions of dollars that the bloc has withheld from Budapest due to its backsliding on democracy.

The EU is expected to allocate around 10 billion euros in funding today after the Hungarian government enacts laws aimed at strengthening judicial independence.

Hungary wants the EU to transfer the entire sum of around 30 billion euros, which was frozen last year due to issues related to the rule of law and corruption.

However, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban continues opposing the start of membership negotiations between Ukraine and the EU.

"I’m ready to make a financial deal on financial issues. But I’m not ready to make a financial deal on strategic or policy issues," Orban said in a weekly Mandiner podcast.