Through a combination of blackmail and strong-arming by the European Union, Hungary now has backed the €54 billion Ukraine aid package that will run from 2024 to 2027. Following all-night meetings of various EU leaders with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, European Council President Charles Michel announced the agreement that was reached in the first hour of a summit. “We have a deal,” Michel said in a post on X. He said the agreement “locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for Ukraine,” and demonstrated that the “EU is taking leadership and responsibility in support for Ukraine; we know what is at stake.”
As could be expected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, after a deep sigh of relief, welcomed it as a “very important” decision.
The European Commission had used blackmail, blocking billions of euros worth of aid to which EU member Hungary was entitled, alleging democratic backsliding. (Of course, no one asked what democratic right the European Commission had to carry out such an act.) The strong-arming started the night before when Michel, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte met with Orbán. That was followed by another meeting early Feb. 1 morning before the opening of the summit, with Scholz, Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The meeting delayed the summit by an hour.