Hungary has had no compunction about breaking EU unity during Russia’s war in Ukraine, often in a bid to sustain its corrupted system of governance. This was again illustrated on December 6 by Budapest’s veto of the planned €18 billion credit line for Ukraine. The government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has greatly benefited from its control over the flow of EU funds in the country. The European Commission’s proposal to condition large parts of this flow on reaching rule of law-related milestones offers unprecedented leverage over Orbán. But Brussels also needs to prepare for lasting tension with Budapest and for Orbán to be more flagrant in seeking alternative funds with third powers. It should not be afraid of this.