Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, announced on Thursday that EU leaders had agreed a €50 billion aid package for Ukraine.
President of the European Council Charles Michel announced on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday that the long-awaited deal has been reached: "All 27 leaders agreed on an additional €50 billion support package for Ukraine within the EU budget. This locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for Ukraine," he said.
The approval of the €50 billion measure for Ukraine by all European Union Member States, according to Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, demonstrates the Union's unity: "An important signal to Ukraine that the EU is with you for the long haul, until victory," she wrote on X.
We have an agreement! All EU 27 countries have approved the 50 billion EUR financial aid package for Ukraine.— Kaja Kallas (@kajakallas) February 1, 2024
It again demonstrates EU unity and that together we can deliver.
An important signal to Ukraine that the EU stands behind you long-term, until victory. #EUCO pic.twitter.com/O81iZW9tVS
Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna welcomed the decisive agreement reached at the European Council in Brussels: "For almost two years now, Ukraine has been fighting for the security of all of Europe and needs our support not only today but in the long term. Today's decision shows that we are prepared to offer this support together, because supporting Ukraine is a strategic interest and priority of the EU," Tsahkna said in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press statement.
The decision on establishing the Ukraine Facility worth €50 billion for 2024–2027 was reached during a summit in Brussels, a major breakthrough after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban initially blocked the release of money to Kyiv.
Hungary vetoed European Union aid to Ukraine last December when EU leaders failed to take into account Orbán's opposition to opening accession talks with Kyiv.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that "with today's big decisions, Europe is sending a signal across the Atlantic and around the world that the international rules-based world order will endure challenges. /.../ Europe can be absolutely effective, and this will make it a winner in global competition."
"It is very important that the decision was made by all 27 leaders, which once again proves strong EU unity," Zelenskyy said on X.
Politico reported that the European leaders managed to convince Orbán with three additions: "There will be an annual report by the European Commission on the implementation of the aid package, there will be a debate at leaders' level on the implementation of the package and, if it is needed, in two years the European Council will ask the Commission propose a review of the new budget, according to the latest version of the draft European Council conclusions."
EU leaders also added a line to ensure that "the way the rule of law in Hungary is assessed by the European Commission is done in a fair and objective manner," which is what Orbán wanted to hear since it has implications for the billions in EU cohesion funds frozen for Hungary over rule of law shortcomings.
Editor: Kristina Kersa