Ukraine Takes A Blow After EU Member Blocks Billions In Foreign Aid

(Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

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Jake Smith Contributor
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Kyiv took a blow on Friday after an EU member singlehandedly blocked billions in aid to Ukraine.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stonewalled all other 26 members of the EU and voted against a $50 billion aid package for Ukraine at the European Council conference in Belgium on Friday, according to Reuters. Orban also hinted he could block attempts to bring Ukraine into the EU fold as a member after the other members voted unanimously to start negotiation talks on Thursday. (RELATED: ‘Devastating Consequences’: EU Agrees To Open Membership Talks With Ukraine)

“Summary of the nightshift: veto for the extra money to Ukraine, veto for the MFF review,” Orban said on Thursday. “We will come back to the issue next year in the [European Council] after proper preparation.”

EU leaders said they will take up renegotiation efforts next year, and potentially find other workarounds to support Kyiv, according to Reuters. The U.S. is also struggling to get aid to Ukraine; Biden is requesting Congress to fund a $60 billion package but has thus far been unsuccessful at obtaining it, as lawmakers are clashing over whether to tie Ukraine aid to a border security deal.

Orban told Hungarian state radio on Friday that he spent eight hours trying to prevent the other EU members from opening membership talks with Ukraine, according to BBC News. Orban left the European Council chambers when the topic was brought up and before voting began on Thursday, thereby allowing the EU members to vote overwhelmingly to open the talks.

“Hungary does not want to share in this bad decision,” Orban said on Thursday. “And for this reason, Hungary did not participate in the decision today.”

The Kremlin said that Ukrainian membership in the EU could destabilize the region in response to the talks.

“It is clear that this is an absolutely politicized decision, the EU’s desire to demonstrate support for these countries,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday, according to Reuters. “But such new members could destabilize the EU, and since we live on the same continent as the EU, we, of course, are closely watching this.”

EU leaders are meeting again on Friday to discuss a broad range of topics, including the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, according to Reuters.

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