Hungary will not support EU EUR 18 bn aid plan to Ukraine, Orban says

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Hungary will not support a European Union plan to provide Ukraine with €18 bn in budget assistance next year, its PM Victor Orban said at a conference in Budapest, instead proposing an alternative of bilateral agreements, AP reports.

Orban suggested that EU member states should look at how much money they want to allocate for activities in Ukraine and distribute it among themselves in a “fair and proportional” way.

Orban’s threat to veto the crucial package which would provide Ukraine with funds to keep energy and health care facilities running as well as to fund salaries and pension schemes,was seen by many in the EU as way to exert leverage in an attempt to force the EU to release billions in economic recovery funds and other money that was held up over concerns that Orban has curtailed democratic norms and violated rule-of-law standards.

On November 9, the European Commission proposed an unprecedented support package for Ukraine of up to EUR 18 billion for 2023. This assistance will be provided in the form of soft loans, which will be paid in regular instalments starting from January 2023.

However, the European Union will need to amend legislation in order to technically be able to provide Ukraine with the first funds from the new package.

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