NewsEU grants Ukraine €1.2bn bypassing Hungary's pro-Kremlin stance

EU grants Ukraine €1.2bn bypassing Hungary's pro‑Kremlin stance

EU countries bypassed Hungary in making a decision on money for Ukraine for ammunition and air defence.
EU countries bypassed Hungary in making a decision on money for Ukraine for ammunition and air defence.
Images source: © Getty Images | Marcelo del Pozo
Marcin Walków

24 June 2024 14:33

Foreign ministers from 26 EU countries have decided to grant Ukraine at least €1.2 billion (£1 billion) for ammunition and air defence. They bypassed "pro-Kremlin Hungary," reports Katarzyna Szymańska-Borginon, RMF FM correspondent in Brussels.

The journalist added that "Hungary continues to block nearly €7 billion (£6 billion) from the Peace Fund, from which the money already spent by EU countries on arms for Ukraine is reimbursed, including €450 million (£387 million) for Poland for the weapons transferred to Ukraine."

This information was confirmed by Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski. "Thanks to the consistent actions of 26 member states despite Hungary's obstruction, the first interest dividends from frozen Russian assets amounting to at least €1.2 billion (£1 billion) will fund the heroic defenders of Ukraine later this summer," he wrote on platform X.

In his post, he emphasised that these are funds from the Russian central bank immobilised in European banks. Most of the €210 billion (£184 billion) frozen Russian assets are in Belgium.

Orban contradicts EU leaders

On 1st July, Hungary takes over the rotating six-month presidency of the Council of the EU.

Just before Hungary's presidency in the Council of the EU began, the country's Prime Minister Viktor Orban advocated for negotiations regarding Russia's war against Ukraine. In an interview with Germany's Funke media group, he also believed that "we wouldn't have this war now if Angela Merkel were still Chancellor."

The Hungarian Prime Minister chose the motto "Make Europe Great Again" for his country's presidency in the Council of the EU, referencing Trump's campaign slogan. Besides ending the war in Ukraine, Hungary will aim to increase Europe's competitiveness, address migration issues, and continue the EU's expansion in the Western Balkans during its presidency, Orban announced.

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