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Hungary promises to unlock €50bn for Ukraine if EU gives it €30bn

Tuesday, 12 December 2023, 23:23
Hungary promises to unlock €50bn for Ukraine if EU gives it €30bn
STOCK PHOTO: PIXABAY

Balázs Orbán, a political advisor to the Hungarian Prime Minister, has said that Budapest is ready to lift its veto on the approval of €50 billion in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine if the EU unfreezes all of Hungary's funds from its reserves.

Source: European Pravda, citing Balázs Orbán in an interview with Bloomberg

The advisor to Prime Minister Orbán said that Budapest sees the unfreezing of EU funds for Hungary and funding for Ukraine as "two separate issues".

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"But if the EU insists that Ukraine’s financing should come from an amended EU budget, then the two issues become linked," he added.

According to Balázs Orbán, Hungary still opposes the full four-year assistance plan and would prefer the EU to offer Kyiv funding for a year, which would not require budgetary changes, and Budapest would "consider contributing" to it.

The statement by the Hungarian prime minister's advisor comes amid reports that the European Commission will approve the unfreezing of about €10 billion in funding for Hungary on Wednesday after it passes laws to strengthen the independence of the judiciary.

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However, Budapest is demanding that the entire frozen amount - about €30 billion according to Bloomberg (previously reported to be about €22 billion) - be released at once.

Earlier, the media reported that the European Union was considering unblocking billions of euros for Hungary to obtain its approval for further assistance to Ukraine and the opening of membership talks with Kyiv.

The Hungarian opposition and critics of Hungary believe that Budapest has not fulfilled all the conditions necessary to unfreeze the funds and have criticised the upcoming decision as "appeasement" of Viktor Orbán.

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