- All 27 EU countries approved on Thursday a new €50B ($54B) aid package to Ukraine that will run through 2027 as part of its seven-year budget review after Hungary's Viktor Orbán dropped his veto blocking funds for Kyiv.1
- This comes as European Council Pres. Charles Michel and European Commission Pres. Ursula von der Leyen, joined by the leaders of France, Germany, and Italy, held a closed-door meeting with the Hungarian leader, which was later widened to include other leaders.2
- They reportedly convinced Orbán with three conditions: the implementation of the package will be annually reviewed by the Commission and subject to a mid-term debate on the highest level, and, if needed, the Council can request another budget review in two years. Additionally, they agreed to guarantee that the Commission will evaluate the rule of law in Hungary in good faith.3
- Kyiv said on Thursday that it expects to receive in March the first installment, in the amount of €4.5B ($4.9B), from the EU funding package, which is aimed at helping Ukraine finance its budget deficits over the next four years.4
- This follows an announcement earlier this week that the EU would be able to reach only 52% of the 1M ammunition rounds it had promised to deliver to Ukraine by March. Late last year, European leaders agreed to open EU membership talks with Kyiv.5
- Meanwhile, in the US, Republicans in Congress have blocked the Biden administration's proposed $60B aid package to Ukraine, which is grappling with a financial shortfall exceeding $40B this year. Kyiv reportedly expects that Brussels and Washington would cover some $30B of the gap.6
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Europarl. The Ukrainian people have desperately waited for this lifeline for months, so, thankfully, every state leader within the bloc finally took a stand to offer their support. Not only does this funding help protect Ukraine, but it also helps ensure Russia can't threaten European security further to the west. As compromises were made that benefit every party involved, the EU can rest assured that it's impenetrably unified against Russian aggression.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by tass.com. The EU's performative, albeit somewhat financially significant commitment to Kyiv will do nothing for the Ukrainian people and even less for its own citizens. For all their talk about Russia threatening to move further west than Ukraine, the EU and NATO have only seen their militaries shrink in size and funding. This war has been and will continue to be between Moscow and Kyiv — and Russia is still winning.