EU Approves Ukraine Aid While Kyiv is Riveted by the Fate of Top Commander 

Democratic Security Outlook 2024: 5 February – 11 February

5 February 2024

The European Union passed a 50 billion euro aid package for Ukraine, steamrolling over the Hungarian veto, while tensions in Kyiv skyrocketed over rumours President Zelenskyy may fire his top commander and potential political rival, General Zaluzhny.

Upcoming on Visegrad Insight:

  • Aleksandra Klitina will break down the rumours and reality behind the reported rift between President Zelenskyy and General Zaluzhny.  
  • Staś Kaleta interviews William Goodhind from Contested Ground about the democratisation of data and the modernisation of war crimes investigation.

EU/REGIONAL

  • A special EU summit on 1 February finally approved the 50 billion euro aid package for Ukraine after Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán finally dropped his veto without achieving the leverage he sought over annual disbursements of funds for Kyiv.
  • The summit was a victory for Ukraine and the EU, as Editor-in-Chief Wojciech Przybylski demonstrates in this quick reaction.
  • Council President Charles Michel is due to brief the European Parliament on 6 February, with parliamentarians likely to seek clarification on whether Orbán did not secure a “bribe” for caving in over Ukraine aid, as some analysts believe he did.
  • Poland’s PM Donald Tusk will soon meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, reviving the Weimar Triangle format of regular contacts between the three nations, Rzeczpospolita daily reported.
  • Russia was forced to cut gas and oil exports due to damages to its refineries apparently caused by Ukrainian drone attacks. The country is also experiencing heating and water shortages across the country amid record-low temperatures.
  • Italian PM Georgia Meloni reached an agreement with African leaders to seek curbs on illegal migration in return for development aid.
  • European governments have flooded the market with record bond sales in January, taking advantage of investor interest in locking into yields before interest rates fall,  FT reports. 
  • The first woman to head the Turkish central bank, Hafize Gaye Erkan, resigned on Friday, blaming a smear campaign against her. The Ex-Goldman Sachs banker was credited with restoring the credibility of the central bank by imposing an orthodox monetary policy of higher rates to combat inflation.

Row over General Zaluzhny overshadows EU summit success 

UKRAINE

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