Fico: EU Summit Okays EU Budget Revision, Aid to Ukraine to Be Monitored

Fico: EU Summit Okays EU Budget Revision, Aid to Ukraine to Be Monitored
From left. Slovak Premier Robert Fico and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (stock photo by TASR)

       Brussels, February 1 (TASR-correspondent) - The most significant result of Thursday's extraordinary EU summit in Brussels is the agreement on the revision of the EU's long-term budget, Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) stated after the negotiations.
        The Slovak premier pointed out that although the highest amount is sent as a financial aid package to Ukraine (€50 billion), €14.6 billion remained for priorities that are in the interest of EU citizens, such as migration.
        "Ukraine will receive €33 billion via loans that are guaranteed by the EU budget and €17 billion is non-refundable money," he said.
        According to Fico, Slovakia insisted that all measures to protect the EU's financial interests be observed when disbursing funds to Ukraine. This mainly concerns the prevention of fraud, corruption, conflicts of interest and other illegal activities.
        "I know they don't like to hear it in Ukraine but the level of corruption there is a huge problem," he pointed out.
        European media report that the summit wasn't a win for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban because the other leaders "convinced" him not to block aid to Ukraine again for the next four years.
        Fico stated that Orban is going home satisfied and in accordance with what he claimed long before the summit about the conditions his government has in revising the long-term budget. According to him, the conclusions of the summit refer to the conditionality of the blocking of EU funds agreed in 2020.
        "With this, Orban reminded everyone what was actually agreed and whether it is also applied in relation to Hungary. He can go home satisfied. He fought for his interests," Fico said.