Earlier this week, EU leaders came together in Brussels to discuss a new €50-billion aid package for Ukraine, which had previously been vetoed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
After talks had been gridlocked for weeks over Hungary’s call for an annual approval process requiring unanimity, Thursday’s negotiations came to a successful end surprisingly quickly. Just an hour into the special European Council meeting, the council’s president Charles Michel announced on social media that a deal had been reached.
“We have a deal,” Michel wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“All 27 leaders agreed on an additional €50-billion support package for Ukraine within the EU budget. This locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for Ukraine,” he added, hailing the EU for “taking leadership and responsibility in support for Ukraine.”
As Statista’s Felix Richter reports, the fund, worth about $54 billion, aims to support Ukraine immediately and through the end of 2027.
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While it is yet unclear if and what concessions had to be made to Mr. Orban for him to support the deal, the agreement reportedly includes a regular review of the fund’s use by the European Commission.
A provision for veto, which Orban had effectively demanded, is said not to be included though.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy also turned to X to express his gratitude, saying that continued financial support from the EU for his country would strengthen long-term economic and financial stability, which he said was “no less important than military assistance and sanctions pressure on Russia.”
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU and its 27 member states have provided over $96 billion in financial, military and humanitarian aid as well as assistance to the roughly 8 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled to EU member states.