EU agrees £43 billion aid deal to Ukraine, overcoming reluctance from Hungary

1 February 2024, 12:18

The EU has agreed an aid package for Ukraine
The EU has agreed an aid package for Ukraine. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

The European Union has agreed a €50 billion (£43 billion) aid deal for Ukraine to support Kyiv in its war against Russia, overcoming Kremlin ally Hungary, which had vetoed the agreement in December.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The aid package covers the period from 2024-2027, and will be reviewed in two years' time.

Yearly discussions will also be held on the deal, which was agreed by all 27 EU members at a European Council meeting on Thursday.

The EU had failed to agree on aid for Ukraine in December after Hungary, widely considered Moscow's key ally in the bloc, vetoed a deal.

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban had wanted the aid to go in four annual packages of €12.5 billion (£10.7 billion), and for the deal to be reviewed each year.

Hungary also wanted its own funding from the EU, withheld since 2022 over corruption and human rights concerns, to be unfrozen. Despite the Ukraine deal agreed on Thursday, Hungary's EU funding remains withheld.

Read more: The war in Ukraine isn’t improving, the world is simply choosing to move on...

Read more: Sunak's new defence agreement with Ukraine 'controversial because it doesn't help Russia', Moscow's ambassador says

European Council president Charles Michel said that the aid agreement shows that the EU is "taking leadership and responsibility in support for Ukraine.

He added: "We know what is at stake".

Mr Michel said the deal "locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for Ukraine".

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was "grateful" for the support.

He added: "It is very important that the decision was made by all 27 leaders, which once again proves strong EU unity.

"Continued EU financial support for Ukraine will strengthen long-term economic and financial stability, which is no less important than military assistance and sanctions pressure on Russia."

Denis Shmyhal, Ukraine's prime minister, hailed the deal, saying that "EU Member States one more time show their solidarity & unity in the actions to Ukrainian people to withstand the war".

EU president Ursula von der Leyen said that the agreement showed that the European Council had "delivered" on its priorities, which include supporting Ukraine.

Putin says goals in Ukraine remain the same and no peace until they are achieved

The US is the largest donor to Ukraine, with about £61 billion in total aid commitments. But discussions on more help have stalled in Congress, with many Republicans reluctant to continue funding a war that appears to have no end in sight.

The UK has committed about £12 billion, making it the third-largest individual donor country behind Germany. The latest package came earlier this month.

Ukraine continues to battle against Russia nearly two years since the invasion. Some Western leaders hoped last year that Ukrainian forces could push Vladimir Putin's army out of the east of the country.

But Ukraine made little progress against Russian troops, who are occupying well-fortified defensive lines. Many onlookers are now pessimistic about the chances of Ukraine expelling the Russian forces from the country.

Ukrainian leaders have said they remain committed to victory, and have warned that if Western support wavers, Putin may sense weakness and attack other eastern European countries.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Defendant Ruby Franke looks on during court in St George, Utah

YouTuber Ruby Franke apologises at sentencing in child abuse case

Duane 'Keffe D' Davis in court during a status hearing at the Regional Justice Centre in Las Vegas

Ex-gang leader’s murder trial over Tupac Shakur killing pushed back to November

Ruby Franke will serve up to 60 years in prison

Parenting advice YouTuber and influencer Ruby Franke jailed for abusing her children

Shehbaz Sharif

Rivals of Pakistan ex-premier Khan name Shehbaz Sharif as joint candidate for PM

Palestinian crowds struggle to buy bread from a bakery in Rafah, Gaza Strip

UN World Food Programme suspends aid amid chaos in northern Gaza

The Security Council meets before voting on a resolution concerning a ceasefire in Gaza at United Nations headquarters

US vetoes UN resolution demanding immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

Under the order, Lingham is banned from entering Holt Lowes between February 1 and October 1.

Shell-shocked: 'Addicted' Norfolk man illegally collected 3,000 native bird eggs

In an apparent attempt to get ahead of another possible rebellion, Labour on Tuesday tabled its lengthy amendment, which will be voted on tomorrow.

'I want to do what is right': Labour's ceasefire motion is 'broader' and 'goes further' than the SNP's, says David Lammy

Prince William has called for an end to the Israel-Hamas war

Israel says Gaza war will only end when 'Hamas is dismantled' in direct reply to Prince William’s intervention

David Neal has been sacked by the Home Office

Home Office fires immigration chief inspector David Neal after claims about security risks at major London airport

Shahd Waleed is trying to leave Rafah with her parents and enter Egypt

'They want us to experience pain': Young woman trapped in Rafah with her parents tells of terror as Israel invasion looms

Gabriela was fired from her job cleaning at Devonshires

Cleaner ‘fired after taking leftover £1.50 tuna sandwich’ speaks out against ‘unfair bosses’ as protesters target law firm

Before this announcement, Tesco only showed unit pricing on normal prices and not their special Clubcard prices.

Tesco announce big change to how it displays Clubcard prices - and it could save you money

Russian defector Maksim Kuzminov at a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, in September 2023

Spanish police suspect bullet-riddled body may be that of Russian who defected

Russia Ukraine War Putin’s Game

Zelensky says Russia ‘taking advantage’ of delays in assistance to Ukraine

Kristina Rihanoff claims Robin Windsor was in ‘excruciating pain’ before his sudden death

'May you dance with the angels': Robin Windsor's Strictly partner says dancer was in ‘excruciating pain’ before death