Brussels will ask bloc members to set up their own aid packages for Kiev if Budapest resists, Reuters has reported
The EU will be able to grant Ukraine €50 billion ($53.4 billion) in aid even if Hungary vetoes it, Reuters reported on Friday, citing unnamed officials in the bloc.
The European Commission has proposed giving Ukraine further grants and loans to help in the conflict with Russia, although Hungary and Slovakia vetoed the move last month. The EU’s 27 members will next vote on the €50 billion aid package at a summit in Brussels in December.
If Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and peace talks in Ukraine, vetoes the move again, the bloc could circumvent this by asking each of the other EU governments to set up their own aid packages for Kiev, two EU officials told Reuters.
According to the news agency, one official said “people get fed up with Budapest holding everyone hostage,” adding that “the workaround is tiresome, but we have it if need be.” A second official agreed, insisting that “the issue of money for Ukraine will be solved one way or another, Kiev will get EU support.”
Orban previously explained that he had blocked the aid package for Ukraine because it was “obvious” that Kiev “will not win on the frontline,” and that Brussels’ strategy of sanctioning Russia while pumping Ukraine with money and weapons had failed.
The EU has authorized a total of €83 billion in military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s military operation in February 2022, according to the European Commission. Despite Western assistance, Kiev’s much-hyped summer counteroffensive failed to meet its objectives. The Russian Defense Ministry has estimated that Kiev has lost more than 90,000 troops since June, as well as over 55 tanks and 1,900 armored vehicles.
Ukraine’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, acknowledged last week that Kiev’s troops were unlikely to make a “deep and beautiful breakthrough,” adding that an attritional trench war could “drag on for years” and grind down his country.