EU Gets Hungary to Agree on 50 Billion Euro Aid Package for Ukraine

The EU was threatening to sabotage Hungary's economy if Orban vetoed the aid package

The EU successfully pressured Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to approve a 50 billion euro ($54 billion) aid package to Ukraine, and EU leaders agreed to push through the spending on Thursday.

Ahead of the summit, Financial Times reported that the EU was threatening to sabotage Hungary’s economy if Orban vetoed the spending package. A European diplomat acknowledged to FT that the strategy was “blackmail.”

Orban also held one-on-one meetings with some other European leaders who convinced him to approve the aid.

The 50 billion euros is economic aid meant to be disbursed to Ukraine from 2024 to 2027. As part of the negotiations, Orban wanted a chance to veto payments to Ukraine each year. But EU officials refused that condition and settled on allowing regular reviews of the spending.

Orban portrayed his approval of the aid package as a victory and said Hungarian funds would not be going to Ukraine. “Mission accomplished. Hungary’s funds will not end up in Ukraine and we have a control mechanism at the end of the first and the second year,” he said. “Our position on the war in Ukraine remains unchanged: we need a ceasefire and peace talks.”

Orban’s government has come under fire from the EU and the US for its position on the Ukraine war and calls for peace. Orban has leveraged his veto power over Ukraine aid and sanctions on Russia to work toward securing EU funding that’s been cut off since he won re-election in 2022. The Hungarian leader has won some concessions, such as an exemption from the EU’s ban on Russian oil.

Ukrainian officials have said that without the EU aid and any new aid from the US, they would have to start cutting salaries and pensions for government workers. President Biden is still struggling to get Congress to approve the over $60 billion he’s seeking to continue to proxy war.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.