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EU Mulls ‘Unblocking Hungary’s Funds’ in Return For ‘Ukraine Aid Approval’

Ukraine and European Union flags hang together on the exterior of the building at the European Parliament in Brussels, Tuesday, March 1, 2022InternationalIndiaAfricaDrained coffers prompted European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to propose boosting the EU’s budget for 2024-2027 by €66 billion, including to support Ukraine. The proposal faces a December 4 deadline, with Prime Minister Viktor Orban warning that Hungary will block any funding for Kiev unless it receives its own frozen EU funds.The European Commission is believed to be mulling over unblocking 13 billion euros ($13.6 billion) for Hungary in order to secure Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s support for a 2024-2027 budget top-up, including for assistance to Ukraine.European authorities could release the frozen funds by late November, officials were cited by a media publication as saying.

In June, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed increasing the new budget by 66 billion euros, part of which – 50 billion euros – would go towards assistance for Ukraine. Unanimous support is required to pass the draft budget, but Hungary, which has repeatedly voiced its protest against the EU's blank checks for Kiev, has been adamant that it will not support hiking up the bloc’s budget until Budapest is granted access to its designated cohesion funds.

Cohesion funds are designed to help less developed members of the 27-country bloc with a gross national income per capita below 90 percent of the EU-27 average.In September 2022, the European Commission froze EU funds earmarked for Hungary, citing concerns over the situation with human rights and alleged violation of EU rules. While initially the frozen sum was estimated to be around 7.5 billion euros ($7.8 billion), in December 2022, EU countries agreed to lower the overall sum of withheld funds to 6.3 billion euros ($6.5 billion). In exchange, Budapest launched a spate of judicial reforms in May. According to European Commission spokesman Stefan de Keersmaecker, Hungary is now expected to offer “clarifications” on the process, and once this has been done, “the commission will continue its assessment.”WorldOrban: EU May Have Given Hungarian Money to Ukraine29 September, 11:55 GMT

‘Blackmail Against Budapest’

The Hungarian prime minister has repeatedly said that the EU has been withholding funds from his country to influence its positions on issues ranging from migration and sex education, to anti-Russia sanctions. However, Hungary has displayed steadfast commitment to its stance despite pressure from the EU. Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto also stated earlier that “Brussels and the liberal propaganda machine” are prepared to use all forms of “blackmail” against Budapest.It was also reported that Hungary believes that the EU has spent a part of its share of frozen funding on supporting the Kiev regime.

"It is possible that some of it [the money] is already in Ukraine. If there is no money to give Ukraine the sums promised before, and we promise to give new sums, and there are people who haven't received the money, it is reasonable to assume that this money is already gone," Hungarian PM Viktor Orban said in an interview with a Hungarian radio station.

Besides being adamantly against joining the West’s drummed up anti-Russia sanctions, Viktor Orban has repeatedly warned of the dangers that continuously pumping aid to Ukraine is fraught with. According to the Hungarian prime minister, it should be obvious to everyone that “the Third World War сould be knocking on our door so we have to be very careful,” as he gave an interview earlier to Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.WorldHungary’s FM Shuns EU Diplomats’ Summit in Kiev to Meet Business ExecsYesterday, 10:55 GMTAmid the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ futile attempts to break through the Russian defensive lines in a counteroffensive that President Vladimir Putin said had brought no result, causing significant losses in manpower and NATO-gifted weaponry, supporting Ukraine is increasingly a divisive issue. The European Union’s plans to hike up funds channeled to Kiev come amid a tussle in the United States between the Democrats and Republicans over whether or not to continue to fund Ukraine. Washington has spent a massive $75 billion on assistance to Ukraine, but US President Joe Biden has signed a short-term funding bill to avoid a government shutdown that does not include new funds for Kiev. The US Department of Defense has “exhausted nearly all available security assistance funding for Ukraine,” one Pentagon official reportedly said.As for Europe, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Sunday that the bloc had allocated 85 billion euros ($89.8 billion) in support to Ukraine, of which over 25 billion euros had been provided in the form of military assistance.”Our military support to Ukraine has reached the figure of 25 billion euros. And altogether – military, civilian, humanitarian [aid] – have reached the figure of 85 billion euros, which is… the highest amount in the world,” Borrell said at a press conference in Kiev, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineBorrell Says Total Amount of EU Assistance to Ukraine Reaches $89.8BlnYesterday, 03:32 GMTMoscow has repeatedly condemned foreign military aid to the Kiev regime, which only serves to prolong the conflagration. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov previously warned that any cargo containing weapons to fan NATO’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine will become a legitimate target for Russia’s military.

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