EU leaders unlock €50bn support package for Ukraine

Source: BBC 

All 27 European leaders have agreed to a €50bn ($55bn; £43bn) aid package for Ukraine, European Council President Charles Michel said.

“We have a deal,” Mr Michel wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

He said that the agreement “locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for Ukraine”.

There had been fears that Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban would block the aid package as he had done already at a European summit last December. 

Mr Orban had said he wanted to force a rethink of EU policy towards Ukraine and questioned the idea of committing to fund Ukraine for the next four years.

Diplomatic sources told Reuters that the new deal includes a yearly discussion of the package and the option to review it in two years, “if needed”. 

Mr Orban had been pushing for a yearly vote on the package, but there were fears this would have left the deal exposed to an annual veto threat from Hungary. 

“A good day for Europe,” Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said on X.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was “grateful” to EU leaders, highlighting that the decision was taken by all 27 leaders.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who had been highly critical of what he called Mr Orban’s “strange and egotistic game,” posted on X: “Viktor Orban could be ‘persuaded’… Let’s move on.”

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