EU Fails to Approve €500 Million Tranche for Ukraine Due to Hungary's Veto
European Union ministers have been unable to reach an agreement on the eighth "military" tranche for Ukraine.
During a press conference in Toledo, following a meeting of European ministers, EU High Representative Josep Borrell stated that they expressed political support for the EU High Representative's initiative to create a special aid fund for Ukraine within the European Peace Fund, amounting to €20 billion over the next four years. However, they have still not reached a consensus on allocating the eighth tranche of €500 million from the same European Peace Fund to finance Ukraine's military needs.
"I regret to inform you that the eighth tranche of the European Peace Fund is still blocked, and I hope we will be able to unlock it in the coming weeks. But this is an issue that is still under resolution," said Borrell.
He emphasized that the EU supports Ukraine's efforts in seeking a just peace. During today's meeting, ministers mainly discussed the non-military aspects of this process, primarily financial.
"We must support Ukraine in a predictable and stable manner, not just next week or next month, but in the long term, and demonstrate to the aggressor that we stand by Ukraine today, tomorrow, and always, during wartime and after. The key element of this support is financial assistance for military supplies through the European Peace Fund and the training of Ukrainian soldiers through our European Union Military Advisory Mission (EUMAM)," said the EU High Representative.
He reminded that, according to EU agreements, the High Representative has the authority to make proposals to the EU Council, which will ultimately make the decision. In this meeting, Borrell suggested that foreign ministers of the EU consider setting a financial "ceiling" at €20 billion, which would equate to €5 billion per year for the next four years, to ensure sustainable military support for Ukraine.
"The ministers discussed this, and I think the response I received from them regarding these proposals was positive. In any case, they demonstrated a determination to continue supporting Ukraine by providing military aid for as long as necessary. These discussions will continue within the EU Council, and I hope that we will reach an agreement by the end of this year," Borrell reported.
He also noted that ministers supported the proposal to increase the number of Ukrainian servicemen undergoing training within EUMAM to 40,000 by the end of this year. Previously, the number was set at 30,000. According to the EU High Representative, some of the Ukrainian defenders received training in Toledo, at the Military Academy of the Spanish Armed Forces.
As reported by The Gaze, at the end of June, Hungary once again refused to support the allocation of a tranche of approximately €500 million from the European Peace Fund to EU member states, demanding the removal of Hungary's OTP Bank from the list of "war sponsors."
This is not the first time Hungary has resorted to such tactics against Ukraine and the EU. In May, Hungary blocked the disbursement of this tranche to EU member states, citing the same demands.