Petteri Orpo: “Hungary cannot stand alone against the rest” – EU summit discusses new strategies to assist Ukraine

Petteri Orpo: “Hungary cannot stand alone against the rest” – EU summit discusses new strategies to assist Ukraine

The decision to allocate frozen Russian funds for the benefit of Ukraine is subject to the approval of all European Union member states. The heads of state of EU nations have gathered in Brussels for a summit to discuss various topics, including supporting Ukraine, EU expansion, and the situation in the Middle East. Prime Minister of Finland, Petteri Orpo, emphasizes the need for more actions and European funding to strengthen the defense industry across Europe.

Finland, along with 13 other EU countries, has proposed a change in the lending mandate of the European Investment Bank to allow loans to the arms industry. Currently, the EIB can only lend dual-use products, which have both civilian and military applications. The proposed change would enable greater support for the defense sector in Europe. The decision to amend the EIB’s mandate does not require a unanimous vote and can be made by a simple majority in the bank’s council.

In response to a proposal made by EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell, member countries are considering utilizing the interest income from frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine. Borrell’s plan suggests diverting 90% of the funds’ interest to the European Peace Fund and 10% to the EU budget. The use of frozen Russian funds for this purpose is regarded as a sanctions decision that requires unanimous approval from all EU member states.

During the summit, discussions are expected to focus on the situation in the Middle East, among other priority topics. Prime Minister Orpo expressed concerns about ongoing political strikes in Finland and emphasized the need for a resolution to avoid further economic damage. Orpo acknowledged that Hungary might pose challenges to the decision-making process but emphasized the importance of finding a way to support Ukraine despite potential obstacles.

The EU summit aims to address critical issues facing the region, including defense, economic stability, and conflict resolution. Leaders are expected to deliberate on strategies to promote security and cooperation among member states while navigating complex challenges within and outside the European Union.

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