PM Shmyhal: All EU members appear to agree on approving 4-year aid package for Ukraine

All 27 members of the European Union appear to agree on approving a four-year 50 billion euro ($54 billion) aid package for Ukraine, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Jan. 26.

As Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban blocked the financial support for Kyiv during a December summit, EU leaders are to reconvene on the matter on Feb. 1. Brussels is reportedly searching for alternatives to aid Ukraine if Budapest continues to block the multi-year package.

At a government meeting, Shmyhal said he hoped the EU would adopt the $54 million Ukraine Facility program needed “to fully finance all priority payments.”

Kyiv expects the EU in 2024 to provide financial support at around the same level as it did last year, according to Shmyhal. Ukraine will need around 18 billion euros from the EU to cover the budget deficit, he said.

Finland’s Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen said on Jan. 25 that she’s confident Orban would not block the $54 billion aid package at the Feb. 1 European Council summit.

Budapest has signaled it might withdraw its opposition if the European Council unanimously approves the funding on a yearly basis, Politico reported on Jan. 26, citing its sources.

This would theoretically allow Orban to exert concessions under the threat of renewed veto during each year’s vote.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said earlier in January that the EU would pass the package even with 26 members, implying it was possible to do so without Hungary’s consent.

Read also: Opinion: Orban is plain wrong on Ukraine

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