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11 Dec, 2023 18:38

Orban allies and US Republicans to discuss Ukraine aid cut – Guardian

The meeting is set to take place against a backdrop of Republican ire at Washington’s continued financial aid to Kiev
Orban allies and US Republicans to discuss Ukraine aid cut – Guardian

Allies of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will hold talks this week with Republicans in Washington to push for an end to the United States’ military aid to Ukraine, The Guardian reported on Sunday.

GOP officials, including sitting members of Congress, are set to meet members of the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs on Monday at a summit hosted by a conservative US think tank, the newspaper claims, citing a Republican source. The two-day event, held by the Heritage Foundation, will also be attended by officials from Budapest’s embassy in Washington.

Monday is set to feature speeches about the conflict in Ukraine, the report says, with some attendees – including Republican lawmakers – invited for closed-door talks on Tuesday. The discussions are set to take place amid a backdrop of increasing frustration from some GOP figures in Washington over the Biden administration’s continued financial support for Ukraine.

There is no indication of which GOP figures are expected to attend the talks.

The Guardian report adds that Orban, often a vocal critic of Western aid to Ukraine, will seek to stifle military supplies from both Washington and Brussels to Kiev, as the conflict approaches its two-year mark.

“Orban is confident that the Ukraine aid will not pass in Congress,” the report said, quoting an anonymous source with ties to the Hungarian embassy. “That is why he is trying to block assistance from the EU as well.”

The White House last week warned that, without Congressional action, its budget to supply Kiev with weapons and equipment will be exhausted by the end of the year. Last week, Senate Republicans blocked a supplemental funding package for Ukraine – saying that they would only agree in exchange for increased fortification of the United States’ southern border.

Orban has also expressed his opposition to Ukraine’s proposed accession to the European Union (EU), calling the idea “unfounded and poorly prepared” on X (formerly Twitter) earlier this month.

The Heritage Foundation has also expressed opposition to Ukraine’s financial support from the West. Last year, it published a statement entitled ‘Ukraine Aid Pack Puts America Last’. Earlier this year, the conservative organization’s vice-president, Victoria Coates, posted to social media that “It’s time to end the blank, undated checks for Ukraine.”

The foundation is also leading the Project 2025 campaign, which bills itself as a plan to lobby for the reshaping of the US federal government in the event of a Republican victory in next year’s presidential election.