Hungary's defiance on Ukraine aid could cost it vote on €50 billion package – FT
Viktor Orban (Photo: ERA/Max Slovencik)

EU member states may deprive Hungary of the right to vote in order to approve an aid package for Ukraine worth 50 billion euros for 2024-2027, Financial Times reported, citing unnamed European officials.

The bloc is weighing the application of Article 7 of the Treaty on the European Union from 2007, which makes it possible to deprive a country of the right to vote due to a violation of European legislation, journalists' sources say.

The FT writes that this process can be blocked by any other member state, but the change of government in Poland means that Hungary no longer has a guaranteed defender.

However, many countries are "nervous about using what is essentially the EU’s biggest weapon against a member state." Instead, officials said, they hope to convince Orbán to waive the funding veto by showing him the "full costs of his isolation" in the bloc.

If that fails, the 26 other EU members will be able to strike a deal on their own, although that will take time.

"Maybe Hungary can create more trouble. Maybe Hungary can force us to use a few different tools. But ultimately Hungary cannot stop us providing money to Ukraine," the official said.

On December 15, Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán vetoed the allocation of 50 billion euros to support Ukraine from the European Union.

Orban also said that the government in Budapest will not support the new European Union aid package for Ukraine until the bloc pays all the funds frozen by the European Commission.

On December 15, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the decision to create the Ukraine Facility in the amount of 50 billion euros for 2024-2027 and the opening of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union.