European Union leaders will seek to convince Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to join a plan to offer stable financing to Ukraine, but they are also ready to provide the cash to Kyiv without Hungary if their arguments fail.
Orban had insisted that the plan to help cover Ukraine’s 2024-2027 needs with 33 billion euros in loans and 17 billion euros in grants, should be disbursed annually as a loan with an intention to be able to veto the disbursements every year.
However, the other 26 EU countries have rejected Hungary’s demand, leading to a stand-off since December and today’s summit is the last opportunity to reach a deal before abandoning the EU budget as a way to fund Ukraine and return again to the more complex, costly and less predictable financing used previously.
Head of Ukraine forum, at Chatham House, Orysia Lutsevych argued that the fund is critical because it covers a wide range of needs including budget deficit, provision of aids to persons affected by the war and help stabilize Ukraine economically.
The EU has been helping Ukraine since Moscow invaded in 2022, but so far it has been through intergovernmental deals that require national approvals every year and are more costly and complex than funding through the EU budget.