BUDAPEST: Hungary’s Viktor Orban mentioned on Friday (Feb 2) that he “went to the wall” for his nation earlier than agreeing to an EU deal on Thursday to increase new assist to Ukraine and that he averted the danger of dropping EU funds earmarked for Budapest from the bloc’s joint coffers.
European Union leaders unanimously agreed on Thursday to increase €50 billion (US$54 billion) in new assist to Ukraine, sending a message to the US the place a divide has opened up over whether or not to maintain backing Kyiv in its struggle in opposition to Russia’s invasion.
The settlement got here surprisingly rapidly after weeks of resistance from Hungary, which has refused to ship weapons to Ukraine because the struggle began and whose relations with Ukraine have been marred by tensions over the remedy of some 150,000 ethnic Hungarians residing in western Ukraine.
In an everyday interview on state radio on Friday, the place he addresses his home viewers, Orban mentioned the settlement reached on Thursday was a superb one.
“I went to the wall,” Orban mentioned.
“If this deal had not been reached and Hungary had continued to make use of its proper of veto then 26 member states would have agreed to ship the cash to Ukraine … and would have taken away the funds earmarked for Hungary and despatched that to Ukraine as nicely – why would which were good?,” Orban added.
“We aren’t sending weapons (to Ukraine), we get our cash from Brussels, and we are going to contribute to the civil financing of Ukraine.”
After liberating up entry to some tranches of EU funds in December to Hungary, the European Fee continues to be withholding some €20 billion from Budapest over widespread accusations that Orban has broken democracy at house throughout his 13 years in energy. His authorities rejects these allegations.
Orban reiterated that peace talks ought to begin between Ukraine and Russia as two years have now handed because the begin of the struggle, and “time was on the Russians’ aspect.”