Frozen EU funds unrelated to Budapest's stance on Ukraine aid — top Hungarian diplomat

  BUDAPEST:  Budapest will not make any deals to unfreeze its EU funds in exchange for financial assistance to Ukraine, an issue that will b...

 


BUDAPEST:  Budapest will not make any deals to unfreeze its EU funds in exchange for financial assistance to Ukraine, an issue that will be on the agenda at the EU's summit on February 1, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said.

While taking questions from reporters at a press conference following a meeting with Montenegro’s top diplomat Filip Ivanovic, Szijjarto dismissed suggestions that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban would agree with the European Commission’s plan to fund Ukraine at the upcoming EU summit provided Brussels unlocked Budapest’s frozen EU funds. "It’s not about bargaining. The two issues have nothing to do with each other," the top Hungarian diplomat pointed out.

"The European Commission has no legal grounds to withhold the funds," Szijjarto stressed, adding that the money remained frozen "solely for political reasons."

Hungary believes that it has met all of the EU’s conditions regarding the justice system and the fight against corruption to get access to the funds.

At a Brussels meeting of EU leaders on December 14-15, Orban blocked amendments to the community’s 2024-27 budget, which had called for granting of 50 bln euros to Ukraine. Politico reported on January 9, citing EU diplomats and an EC document sent to the Belgian Council presidency, that Hungary might approve aid for Ukraine if it was provided outside of the EU budget on an annual basis and controls over use of the funds were ensured. A new plan, which will be discussed at an extraordinary EU summit on February 1, calls for providing Ukraine with 12.5 bln euros in grants and loans every year. "It’s good to see that the European Commission is preparing a plan B for February 1, according to which financial support given to Ukraine could be managed outside the EU-budget. This is a good decision! The Commission’s plan B is the Hungarian plan A!" Orban wrote on X (formerly Twitter).


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Local Glob: Frozen EU funds unrelated to Budapest's stance on Ukraine aid — top Hungarian diplomat
Frozen EU funds unrelated to Budapest's stance on Ukraine aid — top Hungarian diplomat
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