Hungary Doesn't Back Joint EU Borrowing for Ukraine

Ukraine Crisis

Hungary is prepared to assist Ukraine, but doesn't support joint European Union borrowing for the purpose, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said after a meeting of his EU peers in Brussels on Tuesday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Varga told journalists that Hungary has "bad experience" with joint EU loans, adding that the country has still not seen any support from credit the EU tapped during the coronavirus crisis.

He noted that Hungary has supported Ukraine with over HUF 31bn and taken in more than 1m war refugees.

Varga said that the European Commission is proposing a monthly EUR 1.5 bln in support for Ukraine in 2023, coming to as much as EUR 18 bln for the full year. The EU's executive body is asking member states for a mandate to borrow to fund the support package and also wants them to pay around EUR 630 mln in related interest, he added.

He said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates Ukraine will need EUR 3 bln-4 bln a month to keep the state operating. Hungary is prepared to participate in putting this sum together, but it does not support taking out credit, he added.

Varga said Hungary's government is working to gain access to the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) as soon as possible. He added that "lively" negotiations with the EC are ongoing on the matter, although the government "finds it strange" that new requests continue to be made in the course of the talks.

The EC wants to present its assessment of commitments Hungary has taken to secure the approval of its RRF plan on November 22, Varga said, expressing hope the negotiations would end "soon, or by year-end at the latest". 


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