The heads of state and government of the EU countries failed to reach an agreement on the night from Thursday to Friday on changes in the EU budget for the years 2021 to 2027, which would enable long-term financial support for defending Ukraine. According to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Hungary did not agree to additional funds for Ukraine, which was also confirmed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
“Night Shift Summary: Veto of extra money for Ukraine, veto of EU budget revision. We will return to the topic at the European Council next year after proper preparation,” he wrote Orbán on the X network. According to diplomats, even when he arrived at the meeting, he repeated his position that funding for long-term aid to Ukraine should come from somewhere other than the Union budget.
The leaders of the EU member states discussed the allocation of additional aid to Ukraine from the EU budget worth 50 billion euros. However, some countries did not agree with this, so the amount was reduced to 17 billion euros, with the fact that the EU could borrow the remaining 33 billion from the financial markets, which would give Kyiv the necessary aid in the original amount. However, the Hungarian prime minister did not like that either.
Negotiations on the budget revision ended in failure just hours after the leaders at the summit agreed to open accession talks with Ukraine, at the end of which the eastern European country should become a full member of the EU. The 27-year-old took the same step towards Moldova. Georgia received the status of a candidate country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the decision to start accession negotiations with Kyiv a “victory”. However, the blocking of further financial aid is an unacknowledged defeat. Defending against Russian aggression, the country is dependent on EU and American aid, but its future is facing obstacles in both Brussels and Washington.
According to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the topic should be discussed again at the next EU summit at the beginning of next year. This was also confirmed by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. “I firmly believe that we will be able to find an agreement at the beginning of next year, we are thinking about the end of January,” Rutte said. According to him, this should not threaten Ukraine, because it still has the means to finance itself for the next few weeks. He also revealed that 26 member states agreed on the revision of the budget and the amount of additional aid to Kyiv, only Budapest disagreed.