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EU agrees 50 billion euro Ukraine aid package - what are the reactions?

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -European Union leaders unanimously agreed on Thursday to extend 50 billion euros ($54 billion) in aid to Ukraine, overcoming weeks of resistance by Hungary.

Following is some of the initial reaction.

EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT CHARLES MICHEL:

"We have a deal. All 27 leaders agreed on an additional €50 billion support package for Ukraine within the EU budget. This locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for Ukraine. The EU is taking leadership and responsibility in support for Ukraine; we know what is at stake."

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKIY:

"Grateful to Charles Michel and EU leaders for establishing the €50 billion Ukraine Facility for 2024-2027. It is very important that the decision was made by all 27 leaders, which once again proves strong EU unity.

"Continued EU financial support for Ukraine will strengthen long-term economic and financial stability, which is no less important than military assistance and sanctions pressure on Russia."

HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR ORBAN

"We received an offer, and negotiated a control mechanism that guarantees the reasonable use of funds and we also received guarantees that Hungary's money (that the Commission has not yet released) cannot go to Ukraine. After a lengthy negotiation we accepted this offer."

EU COMMISSION CHIEF URSULA VON DER LEYEN

"Agreement! The European Council delivered on our priorities. Supporting Ukraine. Fighting illegal migration. Supporting European competitiveness. A good day for Europe."

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT ROBERTA METSOLA

"Once again, Europe has delivered. €50 billion to help Ukraine recover, reconstruct and reform, on the country's path to EU membership.

"We owe this to the people of Ukraine. We owe it too to the people of Europe. Because Ukraine's security is Europe's security"

UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER DMYTRO KULEBA

"This is a step of historic proportions. It demonstrates that any talk about alleged 'fatigue' or 'waning support' is simply false.

"Europe has once again demonstrated its strength and ability to make major decisions independent of others. The EU is leading the way and setting an example for the rest of the world to follow."

DUTCH PRIME MINISTER MARK RUTTE

"This 50 billion euro package will help us achieve more structure, transparency and predictability in our financial aid to Ukraine. Our message to President (Zelenskiy) and the Ukrainian people is clear: Ukraine can count on our support, both now and in the future."

BELGIAN PRIME MINISTER ALEXANDER DE CROO

"The EU keeps its promise to Ukraine. The people of Ukraine and President (Zelenskiy) are fighting for the freedom of all Europeans. Once again we reaffirm the unity of the 27 member states."

ESTONIAN PRIME MINISTER KAJA KALLAS

"It again demonstrates EU unity and that together we can deliver. An important signal to Ukraine that the EU stands behind you long-term, until victory."

GERMAN CHANCELLOR OLAF SCHOLZ

"We are keeping our promise: all 27 EU member states have agreed on a 50 billion euro support package for Ukraine. As friends of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, we will not leave Ukraine alone. We support them in their fight for freedom!"

($1 = 0.9266 euros)

(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout from Brussels, Krisztina Than from Budapest; Editing by Ros Russell and Gareth Jones)