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Finnish FM: Hungary gave us “positive signal” that it will stop blocking EU’s €50 billion Ukraine aid

Elina Valtonen, Finland’s Foreign Minister, expressed confidence that Hungary, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, will not obstruct the €50 billion EU aid plan for Ukraine during the February 1st summit.
Ukraine, EU flags on Kyiv’s central street Khreshchatyk. Credit: giz.de

Asked if Hungarian PM Orbán would withdraw his veto on the EU’s four-year aid package for Ukraine, Valtonen said she is “very confident” that Hungary will give up its blockade:

“[Hungary’s] Foreign Minister Szijjártó has given us a positive signal and I very much hope that we will finally be able to approve the aid for Ukraine. If not, we will find another solution. At the same time, we must invest more in our own security,” the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland said.

Elina Valtonen also noted that Europe should develop “a credible strategy for its own defense and deterrence” both at the EU and NATO levels because “Russia only understands strength.

  • On 15 December, Hungary’s PM Orbán vetoed the €50 bn aid for Ukraine. European Council’s President Charles Michel intended to gather EU leaders for another vote next month to secure funding.
  • In early January, in informal talks with Orban, Italian PM Giorgia Meloni attempted to persuade him not to obstruct European Union support for Ukraine, according to Bloomberg.
  • Referring to unnamed European diplomats, Politico reported that Hungary floated an idea to lift its veto over the EU aid package for Ukraine if the aid is disbursed and reviewed each year, granting Orbán influence to block funding annually.
  • On 18 January, the European Parliament supported a resolution calling to punish Hungarian PM Orbán for undermining democracy domestically. The vote, with 345 in favor and 104 against, condemned Hungary’s government for its “deliberate, continuous, and systematic efforts of the Hungarian government to undermine the founding values of the EU.” 
  • On 22 January, Bloomberg reported, referring to unnamed officials, that EU leaders are prepared to take a firm stance against Hungary at an upcoming summit if Orbán persists in obstructing a €50 billion ($54.5 billion) aid package for Ukraine.
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