EUROPEAN PRAVDA — THURSDAY, 19 JANUARY 2023, 20:34
Hungary has blocked the allocation to Ukraine of the seventh tranche of €500 million from the European Peace Fund, which is intended for military aid.
Details: Until now, Hungary, which does not provide Ukraine with any weapons, has refrained from making decisions about the next tranches of aid from the European Peace Fund and has not blocked this support.
Budapest’s veto is causing growing outrage among EU diplomats because it has no justification other than that it favours Russia. European Union countries are expected to put pressure on Budapest at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday.
However, the EU has a backup plan: it was already used when Hungary blocked €18 billion of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine in early December 2022.
Then the European Union adopted a decision that would allow this aid to be provided bypassing Hungary. This was enough for Hungary to give in, and the aid package was eventually approved by the 27 EU countries.
Thus, if Budapest does not give up its veto, the EU can also take a similar decision in 26 countries, RMF FM sources among diplomats in Brussels suggest. “It is difficult for a small pro-Russian state, which has exemptions from all sanctions, to dictate the position of the entire EU,” said one of them.
The budget of the European Peace Fund, of which the seventh tranche for the purchase of weapons for Ukraine has been blocked by Hungary, is €5.6 billion. For 2023, it was increased by two billion euros, with the possibility of a further increase to almost €11 billion.
Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, said that since the first day of the full-scale invasion of the war, the European Union and its member states have allocated €50 billion in aid to Ukraine.