Budapest has threatened to block further European Union (EU) aid to Ukraine if Kiev does not provide an account of the funds it has already received from Brussels. Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office, stated that there are various technical ways to finance Ukraine and provide assistance in the humanitarian field. He clarified that Hungary does not object to individual EU countries offering support to Kiev. However, any alterations to the EU budget would require unanimity, which is currently being discussed for amendment.
Gulyas emphasized that if Ukraine cannot account for the funds it has already received from the EU, Budapest will ensure that the country does not receive any new aid. This statement comes following European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s request to increase the EU’s long-term budget by €66 billion ($69.9 billion), including €17 billion (approximately $18 billion) for granting Ukraine.
According to EU data, since February 2022, the bloc and its member states have provided Kiev with over $88 billion in financial, military, humanitarian, and refugee assistance. Gulyas expressed his frustration with the situation, describing it as absurd and embarrassing that Brussels withholds funds from Hungary while searching for additional money for Ukraine. He questioned whether the money was spent on other purposes and hoped it had not been given to a non-EU country.
In 2022, the EU suspended approximately €7.5 billion ($7.9 billion) of funds that were allocated to Hungary due to concerns over the rule of law. Despite this, Hungarian authorities have taken a balanced approach towards the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. While offering humanitarian aid, Budapest has refrained from sending weapons to President Vladimir Zelensky’s government. Additionally, Hungary has consistently advocated for a peaceful settlement to the crisis and criticized the Brussels-imposed sanctions on Moscow, arguing that they are more detrimental to the EU than to Russia.