Hungary is ready to support Ukraine but will not sanction further loans taken out jointly by European Union states, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said in Brussels on Tuesday after a meeting of EU finance ministers.
Varga told Hungarian journalists on the sidelines of the meeting that Hungary will not support that form of aid “because it has bad experiences with the EU taking out loans.” Hungary has yet to receive the funding it is entitled to from the loan taken out during the coronavirus pandemic, he said. Meanwhile, Hungary is ready to continue supporting Ukraine; it has so far accepted over one million refugees and spent over 31 billion forints (EUR 77.2m) aiding the war-torn country, he added. It has also supported Ukraine before the war, by accepting macro-financial support and aiding ethnic Hungarians living in the country, he said.
The European Commission has proposed a 1.5 billion euro monthly aid package for Ukraine in 2023, to fund the country’s financing costs. The EC is now asking member states for a mandate to take out a loan to cover that package, he said. It is also proposing that member states foot the bill for the interests, which will come to some 630 million euros, he added.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the country’s full financing needs come to 3-4 billion euros a month, he said.
Hungary is ready to take part in an effort to raise that money but will not sanction a loan,
Varga said. Meanwhile, Varga said Hungary was working to access the funds of the EU’s resilience fund. It is in talks with the European Commission, “although we find it strange that the body keeps coming up with new requests”. The EC intends to present its assessment of Hungary’s commitments regarding the resilience fund on 22 November, he said, adding that he hoped that the talks would be concluded by year-end.