Plenković: Maximum efforts to be made to reach compromise on Ukraine

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in Brussels today that EU leaders would make maximum efforts to achieve a compromise on macroeconomic assistance to Ukraine, blocked so far by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

"I believe maximum efforts will be made to reach a compromise," Plenković said upon arriving for an extraordinary summit to focus on the revision of the EU's seven-year budget, which also envisages a package of aid to Ukraine for the next four years, worth €50 billion.

Plenković recalled that at the last summit in mid-December, 26 member-states reached an agreement on aid to Ukraine and that Hungary was the only country that was against. The only reason the extraordinary summit has been called is to try to win Hungary's consent as the final decision requires the consensus of all member-countries.

The proposal envisages an increase in the current Multiannual Financial Framework for the period from 2021 to 2027 of €64.6 billion.

Of that amount, €21 billion is to be secured by increasing member-countries' contributions, 10.6 billion would be secured by reallocating the existing funds, and the remaining 33 billion is guarantees for loans the EU would take and give Ukraine under favourable terms.

The total package proposed for Ukraine amounts to €50 billion, of which 17 billion are grants and 33 billion loans.

If Orban insists on his position, the other leaders will turn to an alternative solution, outside the Multiannual Financial Framework that requires the consent of all member-countries.

"We have been discussing ways to find an alternative solution since December, and it would be a special international treaty between 26 member states," said Plenković.

He noted that Croatia was willing to support Ukraine and act constructively in efforts to find a common European solution.

Text: Hina