BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Talks between European Union countries aimed at agreeing on more aid for Ukraine later this week remain “difficult”, a senior EU official said on Tuesday, despite Hungary having signalled its readiness for a compromise.
EU leaders meet on Thursday to try agree on extending 50 billion euros ($54 bln) in aid to Ukraine through 2027, as well as replenishing a military fund to arm Kyiv as it fights Russia’s almost two-year-old full-scale invasion.
Hungary is among the EU’s most Russia-friendly countries. It has already once blocked the aid package and has also voiced opposition – along with EU paymaster Germany – to topping up the military fund.
“We are not there yet,” the EU official said under condition of anonymity, referring to preparations for the Thursday summit in Brussels of the leaders of the bloc’s 27 member states.
As the EU mounts pressure on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to agree, the official said Budapest’s conditions for lifting its veto on the financial assistance to Kyiv were not acceptable to the other EU countries.
The official added that Hungary’s EU peers did not want to agree to review any support to Kyiv every year as that would give Orban a veto each time.
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(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Mark Heinrich)
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