Hungary accuses EU of blackmail over Ukraine aid stand-off

Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, arrives on day one of the European Union (EU) leaders summit on the EU Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday, May 30, 2022.

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Hungary accused the European Union of blackmail after a leaked doc reportedly steered that the bloc plans to sabotage Budapest’s economic system if it vetoes recent aid for Ukraine at a summit later this week.

Hungary’s minister for EU affairs took to social media to lambast the paper drawn up by EU officers and cited Sunday by the Financial Times, which mentioned that Brussels has developed a method to focus on Hungary’s financial weak spots and undermine investor confidence over its blockade of funds to Kyiv.

“Hungary doesn’t give in to blackmail,” Bóka János wrote in a post on X, the platform previously referred to as Twitter.

“The doc drafted by Brussels bureaucrats solely confirms what the Hungarian Government has been saying for a very long time: entry to EU funds is used for political blackmailing by Brussels,” he added.

According to the report, Brussels mentioned that if Budapest doesn’t again down, EU leaders ought to pledge to close off all funding to the nation, which in flip would spook markets, weaken the nation’s forint foreign money and result in a surge in the price of borrowing.

A senior EU official on Monday described the doc as a background observe describing the present state of the Hungarian economic system, and mentioned that it didn’t define any particular plan regarding Budapest, the EU finances or Ukraine funding. It added that finances talks stay ongoing and can proceed to be based mostly on reaching a compromise that’s acceptable to all 27 member states.

EU-Budapest tensions worsen

Tensions have been working excessive between the EU and its most pro-Russia member state after Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban beforehand vowed to dam the use of the EU finances to present 50 billion ($54 billion) in monetary aid to Ukraine at an emergency summit of leaders to be held in Brussels on Thursday.

Orban in December blocked a vote on the extension of aid to the war-torn nation and abstained from a vote paving the wave for Ukraine’s EU accession talks.

However, Hungary could also be displaying indicators of softening its stance, in line with the FT report, which cited Bóka as saying that Budapest had despatched a brand new proposal to Brussels on Saturday, indicating that it was open to utilizing the EU finances for the Ukraine aid as long as caveats had been added that might permit it to vary its thoughts at a later date.

Orban’s political director mentioned that the doc confirmed that the EU was unwilling to compromise with Budapest.

“Brussels is utilizing blackmail towards Hungary like there is no tomorrow, even if we’ve got proposed a compromise,” Balázs Orbán wrote in a post on X.

An EU spokesperson didn’t instantly reply to a CNBC request for touch upon Budapest’s new proposal.

Hungary has usually proved a thorn within the EU’s aspect over help for Ukraine. It additionally stays the one remaining holdout in Sweden’s bid to affix NATO, after Turkey’s Parliament approved Stockholm’s bid final week.

Orban is because of meet later this week together with his Swedish counterpart Ulf Kristersson to debate the bid additional.

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