Hungary said no to giving Ukraine €50bn ($55bn; £43bn) in EU aid, even though they agreed to start talking about Ukraine joining the EU.
“Last night’s shift summary: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said they vetoed giving extra money to Ukraine after talks in Brussels on Thursday. ”
EU leaders said they will start talking about aid again at the beginning of next year.
Ukraine needs a lot of money from the EU and US to keep fighting against Russian forces that are in their country.
Mr Orban said no to help shortly after EU leaders said yes to Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia joining the EU.
Hungary, which is friends with Russia, has not supported Ukraine’s membership, but did not stop it from happening.
Mr Orban briefly left the room where they were negotiating. Officials said it was planned and helpful. The other 26 leaders continued with the vote.
He said on Hungarian state radio on Friday that he tried for eight hours to stop his EU friends from going ahead, but he couldn’t persuade them. He said Ukraine joining the EU would take a while. If the parliament in Budapest wanted to, they could still prevent it from happening.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky was happy about the EU’s decision to start talking about Ukraine joining the EU. He called it a win.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that Ukraine still has money for a few more weeks, so we don’t need to give them aid right now, despite Mr Orban’s disagreement.
“We said yes to the 26 countries,” he added. Viktor Orban from Hungary has not been able to do that yet. I think we can make a deal at the beginning of next year. We plan to do this in late January.
At a meeting in the early morning on Friday, Mr. Michel said that almost all EU leaders agreed on the aid package and budget plans for the group. But Sweden still needs to get approval from its parliament.
“He said we will talk about this again soon and we will try to all agree. ”
Ukraine really wants the $61 billion in US military help, but it’s taking a long time for the decision to be made because the Democrat and Republican politicians can’t agree.
Ukraine fought back against Russia’s occupying forces, but they had to stop when winter started. People are worried that Russia has stronger weapons and could win.
President Zelensky’s wife, Olena, said in a BBC interview last week that Ukrainians could be in serious danger of dying if Western countries don’t keep giving them money.
Ukraine and Moldova want to join the EU because Russia attacked Ukraine. They both became candidates last June, but Georgia was not chosen at that time.
Mr Zelensky was happy about the EU saying he could be a member. “Ukraine won this. It’s a win for them. ” A win for all of Europe. “Winning helps us feel motivated, inspired, and stronger,” he wrote on X.
Moldova’s President Maia Sandu said she was happy to welcome Ukraine on the path to joining the EU. “We owe our presence here today to Ukraine’s strong fight against Russia’s harsh invasion,” she wrote.
This year, Moldova said Russia was trying to take control of Chisinau.
White House Adviser Jake Sullivan is happy that the EU decided to start talks with Ukraine and Moldova. He thinks this is an important step for them to join Europe and the Atlantic partnership.
German leader Olaf Scholz said that he was happy that other leaders showed their support for Ukraine and Moldova, and he believes that both countries are a part of Europe. A diplomat at the meeting said that Mr. Scholz suggested that Mr. Orban should leave the room so that the vote could happen.
The leader of Hungary said on Facebook that he doesn’t agree with his colleagues about Ukraine joining the EU. Hungary does not want to join in this wrong choice.
Mr Orban thinks that Ukraine shouldn’t receive a lot of money from the EU because it’s not a member of the group.
Earlier today, President Vladimir Putin made fun of Ukraine and said that Western support was running low. He said, “Sorry for being rude, but they are getting everything for free. ” But those free things might not be available forever.
Negotiations to join the EU can last a long time, so Ukraine’s decision on Thursday doesn’t mean they will definitely become a member.
Countries that want to join the European Union need to make changes to follow rules about things like laws and the economy. The EU’s leaders have said Ukraine is doing a good job, completing over 90% of the required changes in areas like justice and fighting corruption.