Budapest and Bratislava blocking aid to Ukraine

Just last week, EU leaders promised continued deliveries of weapons, ammunition, power generators and mobile heating stations to Ukraine. However Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán says his country may veto a proposed financial package worth 50 billion. Slovakia’s new Prime Minister Roberto Fico has also criticised the package. Are Orbán and Fico joining forces against Kyiv?

RFI România (RO) /

More leverage needed

The EU will have to come up with a plan before its summit in mid-December, says RFI România:

“One thing is clear: because of their veto power in the EU Council, Budapest and now also Bratislava have the power to block Ukraine’s funding. They can thus support Russia’s efforts to finally break the resistance in Kyiv. This is a strategic threat for the entire region, for Poland and Romania in particular, and especially for the Baltic states. ... The leverarge that the Europeans have here seems limited. Financing Ukraine will be on the agenda again in December. Hopefully methods to convince Hungary and Slovakia will be found by then.”

Ovidiu Nahoi
Népszava (HU) /

Hot air

In reality, Hungary and Slovakia are not in a position to block support for Ukraine, Népszava writes:

“At the last EU summit the two countries voted in favour of the joint declaration, which states that the European Union will continue to provide strong support to Ukraine and its people for as long as it takes. ... The near-bankrupt Hungarian economy, which is paralysed by a lack of EU funds, is turning Orbán into an obedient lamb in Brussels. And Fico is being backed into a corner by the alarming rise in Slovakia’s public deficit.”

Mária Gál
Új Szó (SK) /

Slovakia has no clout

It won’t do Fico much good to play the hard guy with Ukraine, adds Új Szó:

“Having lost his Polish ally, Orbán now has to make do with a Slovak. But apart from its vote in the European Parliament Slovakia is good for nothing. The country has no international clout and Fico’s first statements show that he knows little about foreign policy. Of course, he can play tough with Ukraine, but he’s more likely to be ignored than Orbán. Smer is already on the EU’s list of shame.”

Elemér Márton Á.