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We can anticipate clarity on the €50 billion aid package for Ukraine — expert on international affairs regarding the EU leaders' summit

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Estimated Reading Time: 2 min

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has proposed utilizing the proceeds from frozen Russian assets to procure weapons for Ukraine, although this proposal faced opposition from Hungary, Malta, and Luxembourg. These matters, along with assistance to Ukraine, are under consideration at the EU leaders’ summit, which commenced on March 14th.

Bohdan Ferens, an expert in international affairs and a PhD in political science, discussed these developments on Hromadske Radio.

«The European Union comprises diverse countries, both large and small, with significant frozen Russian assets, and their economic systems are intertwined with this established approach to handling foreign assets. Some EU and non-EU member states, like Switzerland, struggle to decide on the fate of Russian assets and the profits derived from them. This heterogeneity sometimes impedes the swift adoption of effective decisions», — Ferens noted

Regarding von der Leyen’s proposal, Ferens emphasized the need for a shift in approach, particularly regarding the targeted utilization of these funds. Initially earmarked for the reconstruction of Ukraine, the ongoing conflict and urgent need for ammunition and weaponry necessitate adaptation. However, not all EU member states are prepared for this shift, echoing previous challenges faced in sanction policies.

Ferens highlighted the necessity for EU countries to synchronize their efforts to reach a unified decision swiftly and effectively. Additionally, the impending European Parliament elections in June add complexity to the decision-making process.

Another critical issue to be discussed at the EU leaders’ summit is the provision of €50 billion in aid to Ukraine.

«I believe we can anticipate clarity on crucial issues for us, such as assistance under the Ukraine Facility, ensuring the €50 billion instrument operates fully and expeditiously, with funds allocated to Ukraine to bolster its financial resilience. Furthermore, the discussion on the supply of weapons, particularly the Czech Republic’s initiative on projectiles, is pertinent. It is imperative for EU partners to strategize and foster unity, as Russia capitalizes on discord among member states», — added the international expert.

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