EU Finally Approves New Ukraine Aid – Did Orbán Fold, Or Did He Get the Concessions He Wanted?

Published February 2, 2024

The European Union has finally managed to approve 50 billion Euros ($54 billion) in new aid to Ukraine, to be paid on the course of the next 3 years.

While that does give Ukraine somewhat of a life-line in their floundering war effort, the MSM chose to focus their coverage, instead, on the fact that the decision would be a big defeat for Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán.

But was it, really? Let’s examine: Orbán wanted the aid to be paid in yearly tranches, not upfront (check), he wanted the EU to re-discuss it every year (check), wanted the aid decision to be reviewed in 2 years (check).

Sounds like he got it all. There were also other promises of a more symbolic nature.


Let’s take a look at how the MSM Globalist cheerleaders are talking about it, as the European Union hopes they would be sending a message to the United States to keep backing Kiev in the war against Russia.

Reuters reported:

“German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he hoped the EU decision would help U.S. President Joe Biden convince Congress to follow suit. ‘This is also a good signal towards the U.S. The American president is a good friend and ally who is working hard to win support for his demands from the Congress’, Scholz said, his comments echoed by EU chiefs in Brussels.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the EU agreement, saying ‘the aid would strengthen his country’s long-term economic and financial stability’.

Kiev expects to receive the first tranche of 4.5 billion euros from the EU in March.

“‘The message is clear: Russia can’t count on any fatigue from the Europeans in their support to Ukraine’, said French President Emmanuel Macron.”

Along this process, Orbán became the boogeyman of the Globalists.

Prime Minister of a country (Hungary) that has EU 20 billion Euros in funds withheld for accusations of sub-par democratic processes, Orbán has been opposed to sending money to a non-EU country (Ukraine) that is the most corrupt in the world, has banned opposition parties, shut down all opposition media and cancelled elections – but hey, that’s the EU, we can’t really expect things to make any sense.



RELATED: European Union agrees on new $54bn aid package for Ukraine

Hungary previously vetoed the measure and criticised the bloc’s military support for Ukraine.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the meeting in Brussels, Belgium, February 1, 2024 [Olivier Hoslet/EPA]
Published February 1, 2024

All 27 European Union countries have agreed on an additional 50-billion-euro ($54bn) aid package for Ukraine, despite threats from Hungary to veto the move.

“We have a deal,” European Council President Charles Michel said in a post on X on Thursday, just an hour into a special summit of EU leaders in Brussels.

Michel said the move “locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for Ukraine” and demonstrates that the “EU is taking leadership and responsibility in support for Ukraine; we know what is at stake“.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the EU’s approval of the aid package would strengthen long-term economic and financial stability as the war with Russia approaches its third year.

“It is very important that the decision was made by all 27 leaders, which once again proves strong EU unity,” he posted on X.

‘Until victory’

Ukraine has become increasingly desperate to secure funding from Western countries in recent months, with political delays to both US and EU aid bolstering Russian confidence amid the bogged-down war.



RELATED: Experts react: The EU just approved a 50 billion euro aid package for Ukraine. How will it impact the war?

European Council President Charles Michel takes part in a press conference on the day of a European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium February 1, 2024. REUTERS/Johanna Geron
Published February 1, 2024

“We have a deal,” European Council President Charles Michel announced on Thursday. Then, to underscore the inclusivity of that first-person plural pronoun, he added that all twenty-seven European Union (EU) countries had agreed on a fifty-billion-euro aid package to Ukraine through 2027. The breakthrough follows weeks of resistance from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. It also comes as the two-year mark of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine draws near and as prospects look increasingly bleak in the US Congress for additional aid to Kyiv. To better understand what the decision in Brussels means there and beyond, we asked Atlantic Council experts to share their insights below.

The agreement cements the EU as Ukraine’s leading supporter

The European Council’s approval of the the fifty-billion-euro Ukraine Facility comes not a day too soon—and, really, many months too late—in keeping Ukraine in the fight against Russia’s war of aggression. The now-approved package does two things: In the short term, the money will stabilize Ukraine’s government services and its war-torn economy to keep the lights on. In the longer-term, the Facility offers predictability for Kyiv and helps Ukraine on the needed domestic reforms the country will have to make to advance on eventual EU membership.

The Europeans’ delays thanks to the machinations of Orbán notwithstanding, today’s agreement in Brussels cements the EU as Ukraine’s leading supporter. That matters. It’s another reminder that Europe remains unified in support of Ukraine and further dismisses the strength of “Ukraine fatigue” arguments that float up from corners of capitals as an excuse to stop supporting Ukraine.

This agreement is also an important signal to Washington that Europe is stepping up and is with Ukraine for the long run. Coincidentally, debates over aid packages to Ukraine on both sides of the Atlantic unfolded at the same time last year in December and now. Europe missed an opportunity to better impact the US debate then. The EU hit the mark this time, showing Washington that Europe is doing its part. The EU’s processes may be messy and inefficient, but diplomacy works. Leaders overcame Orbán’s veto with a combination of peer pressure, creative threats, and imaginative concessions. No one besides those in the room will know exactly what leaders said to each other during their private meetings before and during the Council, but the agreement is the important result.

The job isn’t done. European leaders cannot let their relief for outmaneuvering Orbán distract from the real work that is needed. Fresh off a victory from Brussels, European leaders need to double down on their strategic communication. They need to communicate with renewed effectiveness and seriousness to their own people that Ukraine’s defense is their defense. This becomes all the more critical as we head into election season in Washington in November but also in June with the European Parliament elections. Europe’s leaders also need to turn to defense. Europe’s defense capabilities are hurting. Production is limited, and disagreement from leaders on defense initiatives keeps Europe’s security potential fragmented. More is needed, and fast.





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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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