Hungary Blocks Military Aid For Ukraine And  Sanctions

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (Worthy News) – Hungary’s nationalist government said Wednesday it would block the next tranche of European Union military support for Ukraine and any new sanctions against Russia unless Kyiv removes Hungary’s largest bank OTP from its list of war sponsors.

“We can’t give it a green light as long as OTP remains blacklisted,” added Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto. “The same goes for sanctions as well.”

The move also comes after leaked U.S. intelligence documents showed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Deputy Prime Minister Yuliya Svrydenko that Ukraine should “blow up” the Soviet-built Druzhba pipeline that provides oil to Hungary.

“Zelenskyy highlighted that … Ukraine should just blow up the pipeline and destroy likely Hungarian [Prime Minister] Viktor Orbán industry, which is based heavily on Russian oil,” the document says.

This week, Hungary held up a proposal allocating a further 500 million euros ($550.40 million) from an EU-run fund, the European Peace Facility (EPF), to military aid for Ukraine.

This would allow EU governments to submit new claims to be reimbursed for weapons and ammunition they have donated to Kyiv. But as an EU member state, Hungary can veto these measures.

In justifying its veto, Hungary demanded guarantees that other regions, such as the Balkans or North Africa, would get money from the fund.


However, Hungary’s stance was expected to complicate efforts by European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell who wants to increase military support for Ukraine.

Borrell proposed adding 3.5 billion euros ($3.85 billion) to EPF used to finance military aid for Ukraine, EU sources said Wednesday.

He reportedly asked EU governments to raise the financial ceiling of the fund that has already allocated some 4.6 billion euros in military aid for Ukraine.

Yet Hungary has refused to provide any military equipment to its neighbor Ukraine, invaded by Russian forces in February 2022, angering even its closest ally Poland.

Hungary’s stand-off with Brussels over Ukraine is part of several disputes between the EU and the Hungarian government led by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has been criticized over his perceived authoritarian style.

The EU has been withholding billions of euros in funds, citing corruption and the government’s meddling in the judiciary, media, and other previously independent institutions.

Hungary has also been criticized over its anti-migration stance and forbidding LGBTQ+ education and information directed at minors. Orbán denies wrongdoing and wants to build an “illiberal democracy” with traditional Christian values.

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