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Officials: EU has ‘workaround’ if Hungary vetoes Ukraine aid

The EU prepares a backup plan via separate state agreements to secure Ukraine’s €50 billion aid package, despite Hungary’s potential veto.
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Ukraine, EU flags on Kyiv’s central street Khreshchatyk. Credit: giz.de
Officials: EU has ‘workaround’ if Hungary vetoes Ukraine aid

The European Union has a Plan B if Hungary uses its veto to block a planned €50 billion aid package to Ukraine, EU officials said on 12 November, according to Sky News.

The EU executive said the bloc intends to increase aid to Ukraine as the Russo-Ukrainian war, now in its 21st month, continues. The 27 EU nations will consider the new aid package at a summit scheduled for 14-15 December in Brussels.

However, there’s worry that Hungary might exercise its veto power to stop the aid. All member states must agree to pay-offs from the EU’s collective budget.

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Nevertheless, two EU officials told Reuters the bloc has a potential “workaround” should Hungary’s veto be the case. 

The officials noted that individual EU countries have the option to arrange their own assistance agreements with Kyiv. Together, these separate deals could amount to the collective total proposed.

“The workaround is tiresome, but we have it if need be,” one EU official, who requested to remain unnamed.

Another official noted:

“The issue of money for Ukraine will be solved. One way or another, Kyiv will get EU support,”  the official said adding, “If Hungary becomes an obstacle to the needed unanimity to do it via the EU budget, member states will find another way, like an intergovernmental agreement or national guarantees.”

In 2022, Hungary initially vetoed a proposal to provide Ukraine with €18 billion in financial aid for 2023. However, after several months of negotiations, Budapest eventually agreed to the package.

Asked whether the EU would take a similar approach if necessary, European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis addressed the question earlier this week:

“Last year, we were indeed discussing ‘Plan B’ … But we were able to avoid this scenario last year. I hope will be also able to avoid this scenario this year.”

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