According to informed sources quoted by Bloomberg, EU member states are ready to adopt a package of assistance to Ukraine at the Brussels summit on Feb. 1, regardless of whether or not Hungary supports it.
The sources say that if Orban continues to block the support package, the leadership of the remaining 26 EU countries are already considering appropriate measures to override Hungary’s objections.
A potential fallback option also under consideration is for EU member states to send funds to Ukraine out with the central EU budget process. The proposal provides for the provision of national guarantees to attract financing in the markets if Hungary continues to block the joint decision.
It is also possible that, if Orban persists in trying to block the provision of aid, the EU may take further punitive measures against Budapest which could include depriving Hungary of its voting rights.
Faced with such a scenario, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico warned other leaders last week that he would protect Hungary from any potential moves aimed at removing any of Budapest’s EU membership rights.
Following a meeting of top EU diplomats in Brussels on Jan. 22, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said his country does not support reforming the current funding mechanism – known as the European Peace Fund – through which member states receive monetary compensation for military aid they send to Ukraine.
Hungary is currently blocking the allocation of the latest €500 million tranche from the European Peace Fund.
Szijjarto said that this issue will be discussed during his meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Jan. 29.
It is noted that Budapest will still consider lifting the lockdown if Ukraine provides “guarantees” that Hungarian companies will not be added to the list of “sponsors” of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
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