EU leaders to push for increased, rapid arms flows to Ukraine during upcoming summit — Reuters

European Union leaders plan to reaffirm their determination to continue to provide “timely, predictable and sustainable military support” to Ukraine during a summit on Feb. 1, Reuters reports, citing the draft conclusions of the meeting.

The European Council will also confirm the urgent need to speed up the supply of ammunition and missiles.

Read also: Budapest accuses Brussels of blackmail for blocking aid to Ukraine

The draft summit conclusions nonetheless leave open the question of whether the leaders will also promise to contribute another 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion) to the European Peace Facility, which is used to finance the supply of weapons to Ukraine.

EU members have been debating the future role of the fund in military aid to Ukraine for several months, with Germany proposing to focus on bilateral aid from individual EU countries.

The idea of an additional 5 billion euros is included in the draft text in square brackets, meaning that it is still a subject of discussion.

Read also: EU to impose sanctions on Hungary if it fails to support aid to Ukraine

The main topic of the summit in Brussels is an attempt to reach an agreement on a 50 billion euro ($54.2 billion) financial aid package for Ukraine over four years, which was blocked by Hungary at the previous summit in December.

Bloomberg cited sources as saying earlier that EU leaders are ready to take tough measures against Hungary if Prime Minister Viktor Orbán continues to block the 50 billion euro aid package for Ukraine.

The agency’s sources said that EU member states are ready to approve the aid package for Ukraine at the Feb. 1 summit in Brussels, regardless of whether Hungary supports it.

The German Foreign Ministry said at the end of December that Ukraine would receive 50 billion euros in aid from the European Union, despite Hungary’s opposition.

The Financial Times reported that the EU was preparing an alternative plan to provide Ukraine with 20 billion euros ($21.7 billion) in financial support, bypassing PM Orban’s veto. According to the newspaper, the proposed mechanism could be employed if Orban’s veto is not overridden at the planned summit on Feb. 1.

The EU announced on Jan. 17 that it would be possible to approve the 50 billion aid package for Ukraine in a few weeks.

Hungary said on Jan. 18 that it is a long way from approving 50 billion in aid to Ukraine but allows for bilateral assistance.

Budapest opposed a proposal within the bloc on Jan. 22 to establish a new fund to provide a more reliable way to supply critical military aid to Ukraine.

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