All 27 heads of government of European Union countries agreed on February 1 to an additional 50 billion euro support package for Ukraine within the EU budget, European Council President Charles Michel said in a message on X (twitter.com).
“This locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for Ukraine,” Michel said of the deal, reached at a special meeting of the European Council.
The EU is taking leadership and responsibility in support for Ukraine: “We know what is at stake,” he said.
The deal means that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has lifted his veto, having blocked an agreement at a previous European Council meeting in December.
Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium, the current holder of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, said that the people of Ukraine and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy were fighting for the freedom of all Europeans: “Once again we reaffirm the unity of the 27 member states”.
The Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU said: “We will continue to provide unwavering political, economic, military, humanitarian and legal support to Ukraine”.
Michel’s announcement came soon after the meeting started.
Ahead of the meeting, talks were held involving Orbán, Michel, European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
The talks were later joined by Dutch PM Mark Rutte, Polish PM Donald Tusk and Belgian PM De Croo.
Separately, the EC said on February 1 that the Commission had reached a new milestone as the amount of in-kind aid provided to Ukraine now stood at more than 140 000 tons, making it the largest operation ever supported by the coordination centre EU emergency interventions.
This aid has been provided by 32 countries since the activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism on February 15 2022, and has been delivered via EU logistics platforms in Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
Donations cover many items and areas, including ambulances, fire trucks, power generators, transformers, mine clearance equipment, shelters, medicines and much more. The overall financial value of the aid is estimated at around 796 million euro, the EC said.
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