EU leaders, including Hungary, have agreed on a deal to provide long-term financing to Ukraine at the start of their summit on 1 February. This deal ends weeks of uncertainty after Prime Minister Viktor Orbán threatened to veto the package.
European Council President Charles Michel announced the deal, which locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for Ukraine until 2027. The swift agreement came after a small group of EU leaders persuaded Orbán to drop his veto over the funding package. Orbán met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and EU chiefs Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel during closed-door breakfast talks. The agreement aims to provide predictable funding for Ukraine and end weeks of uncertainty.
The European Union (EU) has agreed to a deal with Hungary to implement a Ukraine aid package. The deal, which was agreed upon by other European leaders, includes an annual debate on the package’s implementation, an annual European Commission report, and the possibility of inviting the EU’s executive to review the proposal in the context of the EU’s next multi-annual budget.
The concessions are seen as minor by EU officials and diplomats, as they avoid a full veto scenario and the need to move ahead with a decision with EU26, making the provision of aid to Ukraine more complicated and time-consuming. The Belgian EU Council presidency is expected to hold negotiations with the European Commission and European Parliament in Strasbourg to get the legal instruments approved. European Parliament President Roberta Metsola welcomed the agreement, despite it not being ideal.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has praised the EU’s decision to supply one million artillery shells to Ukraine as a clear signal that Ukraine will withstand and that Europe will withstand. Zelenskyy emphasized that the EU has proven that its word matters and its promises work for the interests of entire Europe. However, he also noted that the EU is expected to fall short of its self-set-one million ammunition target for Ukraine, which is a signal of global competition that Europe cannot afford to lose.
In Kyiv, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal hailed the deal as support that will help realize a joint victory, expressing gratitude to EU member states for the decision and highlighting the agreement’s “solidarity” and “unity” in the 27-member bloc. The deal was a result of unity and unanimity, as it was not taken outside the Ukraine budget, which would have excluded the European Parliament.