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European Union special summit unanimously approves 50 billion euros in aid to Ukraine

European Union Approves 50 billion euros to Ukraine

European Union leaders unanimously agreed on Thursday (February 1) to provide Ukraine with a 50 billion euro aid package. Hungary dropped its previously expressed opposition

European Council President Charles Michel spoke highly of the agreement, emphasizing that the EU assumes its leadership role and responsibility in supporting Ukraine and is fully aware of the “large scale of the matter.”

“This locks in stable, long-term, predictable funds for Ukraine,” Michelle said on the US social media X platform.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the consensus reached by the EU, stressing that it “proves strong EU unity.”

“The European Union’s continued financial support for Ukraine will strengthen long-term economic and financial stability and is as important as military assistance and sanctions pressure on Russia,” Zelensky said on X.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said Thursday’s vote defied any talk of “fatigue” or “falling support” for aid to Ukraine.

“This also clearly shows that Putin’s hopes of competing with Ukraine and the world have been dashed,” Kuleba said.

At the European Union’s last special summit in December last year, Hungary voted against a four-year aid plan of 54 billion euros to Ukraine, claiming that since Ukraine was not a member of the EU, the aid should not come from the EU budget. All 26 other EU member states voted in favor of the aid package.

Luigi Scazzieri, a researcher at the Center for European Reform, said European Union financial assistance was crucial for Kyiv.

“This is essentially the budgetary support Ukraine needs to continue fighting the war and maintain solvency. But this is not aimed at increasing its military capabilities. There is a separate budget arrangement for the military, but this aspect is also constrained by Hungary. However, this matter will also be discussed. This aspect involves the replenishment of 5 billion euros in a common fund for the supply of weapons to Ukraine,” Scazieri told the media.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has long been an obstacle to European Union unity with Russia, and he also has a good relationship with Putin.

“Hungary has refused to participate in the sanctions (against Russia) from the outset. Hungary has also refused to provide arms to Ukraine. Hungary has also refused to agree to grant Ukraine European Union membership candidate status until it gets what it wants in return,” said Washington think tank Foreign Relations Liana Fix, European Affairs Researcher at the European Affairs Council (CFR).

The so-called returns include the European Union releasing $11 billion in EU funds to Hungary in December. The EU had previously frozen the payment over concerns about democratic backsliding in Hungary. According to Fix, the EU is currently withholding $24 billion in funds intended for Hungary. Orban may ask the EU to release this part of the funds.

Brussels had warned Hungary that the European Union would “destroy” the Hungarian economy unless it stopped voting against aid to Ukraine, according to a report in the Financial Times on Monday. Budapest accused the EU of “blackmail.”

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