Hungary is supporting Ukraine financially, and the required money has already been earmarked for this purpose, but “we do not support the European Union placing itself into debt,” Viktor Orbán declared.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spoke about Hungary’s position on the EU’s plan to aid Ukraine with another joint borrowing at the V4 summit in Košice (Kassa), Slovakia on Thursday.
He stressed that “concerning financial support for Ukraine, Hungary informed the European Commission of its position in a timely manner; we told them in advance that we support the provision of financial aid to Ukraine, and that this is necessary and the right thing to do,” adding that Hungary will be undertaking its share of this financial burden.
“We are talking about 18 billion euros, and the government has already earmarked Hungary’s share of this sum within the budget, and we will be giving this money to the Ukrainians,” the prime minister reiterated.
He underlined that Hungary “will not be supporting any kind of solution that takes the European Union forward in the direction of joint debt.” “We do not believe that it is a good direction for the European Union if it puts itself and its Member States into debt with relation to several issues and concerning increasingly large sums of money in the future,” Orbán noted.
This is a bad direction, and we will never support it, whether with regard to Ukraine or any other financial issue,
the prime minister confirmed.
“It is a lie that Hungary has ever blocked the European Union’s support for Ukraine’s ability to function- the government is merely opposing new joint borrowing,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at the Energy Council in Brussels on Thursday.
The government has made it clear that it is prepared to provide Ukraine with its share of the planned 18 billion euros on a bilateral basis, but does not support joint borrowing, he explained to journalists.
“The European Union was not created to be a debt union. So again, this is a move that goes against the European treaties and goes against the vision we have for the future of Europe,” Szijjártó stressed.
The future of the European Union is not towards mountains of debt.
The Hungarian government has been accused by the Western press and some politicians of not simply rejecting the joint borrowing on principle, but of using the issue for blackmail. This accusation was also made in a report adopted by the European Parliament on Thursday. In contrast, the Hungarian government has made it clear that it has no intention of taking the matter of aid for Ukraine hostage, instead it does not want another joint debt.
The European Union has already taken out a joint loan to deal with the economic consequences of the coronavirus epidemic, which Hungary supported in the interests of EU unity, despite its reservations in principle. The European Commission, on the other hand, is still withholding the recovery funds due to Hungary on the grounds of alleged rule-of-law issues.
Featured photo via the European Commission