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Orbán threatens to block EU policy on aid to Ukraine, Politico reports

Orbán threatens to block EU policy on aid to Ukraine, Politico reports Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán threatens to block all aid from the European Union to Ukraine. Additionally, he aims to obstruct the country's entry into the EU itself, according to Politico.

In a letter addressed to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, Orbán states that no decision regarding financing for Ukraine, the start of accession talks to the EU, or further sanctions against Russia can be made until this "strategic discussion" occurs when leaders gather in Brussels in mid-December.

"The European Council should take stock of the implementation and effectiveness of our current policies towards Ukraine including various assistance programs," Orbán writes in the letter.

He also questions why Europe should continue to support Ukraine when the United States, which has provided the majority of military aid to Kyiv, might not be able to continue funding due to a deadlock in future support.

"The European Council must have a frank and open discussion on the feasibility of the EU’s strategic objectives in Ukraine," Orbán adds.

Possible reasons behind Orbán's behavior

Politico notes that Orbán's letter raises the stakes in a long-standing standoff between Budapest and Brussels, where the EU has withheld 13 billion euros in funds for Hungary over concerns that the country does not meet EU standards regarding the rule of law.

"Without saying so directly, the letter suggests that Budapest could use its veto power to block the disbursement of a planned €50 billion in aid for Ukraine," the report mentions.

These funds are needed to finance the Ukrainian government as the Armed Forces resist a full-scale Russian attack. Aside from the 50 billion euros, Orbán threatens to block 500 million euros of planned military aid to Kyiv and the start of official negotiations for Ukraine's accession to the EU, which leaders hoped to approve at the next European Council meeting in December.

Hungary's stance on Ukraine

It's worth noting that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán maintains a distinctly pro-Russian position. He often makes statements to discredit Ukraine.

Hungary, since the beginning of the full-scale war, has not provided military assistance to Ukraine and has blocked European Union sanctions against Russia. Moreover, Budapest continues to trade with Russia, and Hungarian officials visit Moscow.

Yesterday, an advisor to the head of the Office of the President, Mykhailo Podolyak, stated that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán made sharp statements about Ukraine because he wanted to gain certain advantages from the European Commission.