Hungary on Tuesday blocked a massive EU aid package for Ukraine worth 18 billion euros ($18.9 billion), angering other members of the bloc.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Budapest is not against sending aid to Ukraine but objects to how the EU wants to do it. The 18 billion euro plan would require all 27 EU members to jointly borrow the funds, something Hungary has previously said it’s against.
The 18 billion euro aid package for Ukraine is meant to help cover Ukraine’s massive $38 billion budget deficit for 2023. The US is expected to put up a similar amount for the deficit, and the $37.7 billion in new Ukraine aid the White House seeks from Congress includes $14.5 billion in budgetary aid.
Orban said that Hungary is ready to “give financial assistance to Ukraine, on a bilateral basis,” but said the EU’s proposal is not the solution. “If we continue to go down the road towards a debt community, we will not be able to turn back,” he said.
Hungary is already at odds with Brussels and risks losing billions in EU funding over allegations of corruption that have been leveled since Orban won reelection in April. According to The Associated Press, the EU’s European Commission has proposed suspending 7.5 billion euros in funding for Hungary over claims of mismanagement of EU money and “democratic backsliding.”