Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

RUSSIA hailed Hungary yesterday for blocking a £42billion package of aid from the EU to Ukraine.

PM Viktor Orban, a pal of Vladimir Putin, kiboshed the deal in a rage at talks over Ukraine joining the bloc.

ReutersViktor Orban kiboshed the deal in a rage at talks over Ukraine joining the bloc[/caption]

AFPOrban is a pal of Vladimir Putin[/caption]

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov showered Mr Orban with praise in a sign the far-right populist’s move had boosted Moscow’s war effort.

He gushed that Hungary “defends its interests, which impresses us”.

The row came days after the US Congress failed to back a bill to give Kyiv £50billion in military aid, including missiles.

French president Emmanuel Macron urged the Hungarian PM to “behave like a European”.

But Mr Orban insisted the showdown was a “great opportunity for Hungary”.

The Budapest bully was sidelined on Thursday when 26 EU leaders asked him to leave talks on Ukraine joining.

In his absence they agreed to open membership talks with Ukraine and Moldova and to grant Georgia candidate status.

All three ex-Soviet colonies have Russian soldiers occupying part of their territory.

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky said the decision would inspire his nation.

PM Rishi Sunak yesterday vowed Britain would stand with Ukraine.

On a visit to Teesside he said: “We’ve consistently provided them with the equipment and capabilities they need. And we will continue to do that. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine as they resist Russian aggression.”

The World Bank and the EU announced new gifts of £1billion and £1.3billion respectively.

The EU hopes to sidestep Hungary’s veto.

Irish PM Leo Varadkar said there were “workarounds”.

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