The European Union on Thursday unanimously approved more aid to Ukraine in its war with Russia in a new package amounting to 50 billion euros, or $54 billion, during a meeting of the 27 member states in Brussels.
“Today Europe is stronger,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on X. “We reconfirmed our unwavering support to Ukraine.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his gratitude and said the unanimous decision was an important show of EU unity.
“Continued EU financial support for Ukraine will strengthen long-term economic and financial stability, which is no less important than military assistance and sanctions pressure on Russia,” he wrote on X.
The deal came after weeks of threats by Hungary, the EU member friendliest with Russia. Hungary lifted its veto of the aid package in a surprise move on Thursday. Its president, Viktor Orban, previously withheld his support as he pushed for an annual vote on the aid, which would give Hungary more opportunities to veto the package in the future. The approved spending package would fund Ukraine from 2024 to 2027.
Orban has frequently clashed with the EU over concerns of democratic backsliding in Hungary, which prompted the EU to withhold several billions in funding from the country.
The Ukraine deal is the result of a rapid about-face in Hungary’s stance on the issue. It also includes the possibility of EU membership for Ukraine, a step toward fortifying Europe against Russia.
“With today’s big decisions, Europe is sending a signal across the Atlantic and around the world that the international rules-based world order will endure challenges,” Zelensky wrote.