Hungary refuses to drop EU block on arms funding for Ukraine until conditions met

Hungary’s OTP Bank must be taken off the Ukrainian sanctions list and minority rights for Hungarians in Ukraine must be restored

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Magyra Hírlap
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó at the EU informal foreign ministers' meeting in Toledo, Spain. (Facebook)

“Hungary is not even willing to discuss the issue of further EU funding for arms transfers to Ukraine until Kyiv removes OTP from the list of international sponsors of the war and returns the taken away rights of the Transcarpathian community,” Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Toledo on Thursday, after an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers.

According to a statement by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary’s foreign minister said that the agenda item on the war in Ukraine once again made clear the need to further strengthen the voice for peace, because the vast majority of European countries are still preoccupied with promoting war.

He said that the majority position is to maintain arms supplies, which shows that everyone is now expecting a long war, as evidenced by the European Union’s proposal to spend €5 billion a year on military aid over the next four years.

“This approach is extremely depressing (…) At a time like this, we have to ask how many people will die, how much more destruction will Ukraine have to suffer over the next four years,” he said.

“Unfortunately, I was the only one who spoke out against this approach today. We do not want four more years of war, we want this war to end as soon as possible,” he added.

Szijjártó said that the government is not even willing to discuss this proposal until the Ukrainian authorities remove OTP Bank from the list of international sponsors of the war.

“It is a huge contradiction (…) that while we are expected to pay tens of billions of forints of Hungarian taxpayers’ money to Ukraine for arms supplies, Ukraine considers the largest (Hungarian) bank, which holds the bank accounts of 3 million Hungarians, to be an international sponsor of the war,” he said.

He also pointed out that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell had initiated a six-way meeting with him and the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmitry Kuleba, on the issue, but that the latter had refused.

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