Despite Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán’s veto, Ukraine remains optimistic about securing €50bn in aid from the European Union.

Kyiv is optimistic that the necessary legal procedures for receiving a €50bn aid package from the EU will be completed at an EU summit in January, despite the veto from Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, at a crucial summit in Brussels.

In a statement, the foreign ministry in Kyiv dismissed Orbán’s blocking tactics and expressed confidence that the aid would be delivered as soon as possible. They emphasized that this signals the EU’s continued financial support for Ukraine and that the funds will be used to modernize the state and accelerate its integration into the EU bloc.

Hungary’s veto marked a turbulent week for Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, including attending the inauguration ceremony for Argentina’s new president and rushing to Washington for meetings with President Joe Biden and leading US Republicans.

During the meeting in the Oval Office, Biden announced a $200m drawdown in security assistance to Kyiv. Zelenskiy’s talks with Republican speaker of the US Congress, Mike Johnson, were less fruitful, with Johnson making it clear that his party would continue to obstruct a $61bn aid package to Ukraine.

Zelenskiy, however, received positive news in Oslo, where he met Scandinavian leaders. Denmark has committed to providing €1bn in military assistance, and Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland have also pledged their own bilateral packages.

Despite setbacks in the US, Zelenskiy celebrated the EU’s opening of accession talks with Kyiv, which occurred after Orbán left the room. Zelenskiy hailed this as a victory for the Ukrainian people and a step closer to Ukraine’s accession to the EU.

Zelenskiy emphasized that integrating Ukraine into the EU is a significant undertaking but expressed confidence in Ukraine’s capabilities and praised the heroic courage of the country’s people.

The show of support from the EU was widely welcomed in Ukraine, with Presidential aide Mikhailo Podolyak stating that the decision nullifies Russia’s expectations that Europe would abandon Kyiv.

Illia Ponomarenko, a popular commentator, expressed gratitude for the aid and believed it would help Ukraine prevail during these challenging times.

Meanwhile, Russia continues its territorial aggression in the east, and Ukraine’s own counter-offensive in the southern Zaporizhzhia province has failed. The Russian army is launching major attacks across the Donbas region and has focused on the city of Avdiivka, attempting to cut off the only access road used by Ukraine’s armed forces.

Ukrainian commanders acknowledge being outgunned and facing ammunition shortages from western partners but are currently holding on.

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