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Italy's premier quietly asks Hungary's Orban to drop opposition to €50 billion Ukraine aid package, Bloomberg says

Zelensky holds press conference with Meloni in 2023 visit. (Photo by Ukrainian presidency)

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is working to persuade her Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban, to drop his opposition to a proposed European Union aid package for Ukraine and improve his relationship with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources privy to the discussions.

Orban, whose veto power is holding up the €50 billion Ukraine Facility aid package from the EU, could bring his Fidesz political party into the European Conservatives and Reformists political party with Meloni's Brothers of Italy party, Poland’s Law and Justice and the Sweden Democrats if he changes his stance on Ukraine, the sources said.

Meloni is also trying to persuade Orban to support Ukraine’s bid to join the EU as a condition to joining the European Conservatives and Reformists, said the sources, adding that talks have taken place at various levels and no decision has been taken.  

A summit of EU leaders is set to discuss the aid package for Ukraine on Feb 1 as the Ukrainian government is growing increasingly fearful that international support for their fight against Russia is flagging. Besides reluctance among some European allies to continue aid for Ukraine, commitment in the US has been flagging as attention shifts to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the upcoming US presidential election and other issues.

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