The EU states have agreed on a billion dollar package for war-torn Ukraine. However, the decision was made on Saturday against Hungary’s dissenting vote, as the German Press Agency learned from EU circles. According to the decision, 18 billion euros will be paid out to Kiev in the course of the coming year.

According to the original proposal by the EU Commission, a unanimous decision by the 27 EU countries was actually necessary for the aid package. However, Budapest blocked the package because of a dispute over the possible freezing of EU billions for Hungary. That is why the current Czech EU Council Presidency was looking for a way to decide on aid without Hungary.

The solution now lies in the fact that the guarantees for the loans – if Hungary sticks to its veto – are not covered by the EU budget as initially planned, but are taken over by the EU states. As a result, a unanimous decision was not necessary. However, there is still time for Hungary to come on board. Then the guarantees would go through the EU budget. The agreement is to be submitted to the European Parliament for approval next week.

This means that Hungary no longer has any leverage in the discussion with other countries. However, Budapest has also been blocking the international minimum tax for months, which the EU states had already agreed on together with around 130 other countries. The background to the Hungarian blockade is, among other things, that the EU states still have to decide on a proposal by the EU Commission to freeze around 7.5 billion in EU funds for Budapest due to allegations of corruption.