Hungary dissents from EU move to allocate EUR 5 bln in military aid to Kyiv — Szijjarto

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto

© APA | Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto

# 22 January 2024 14:40 (UTC +04:00)

Hungary is opposed to providing Ukraine with 5 bln euros in military aid from the European Peace Facility (EPF), an off-budget European Union (EU) funding mechanism, over the next few years, and is expecting "fierce debates" on the matter at the upcoming Brussels summit of EU leaders on February 1, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said en route to a meeting with his EU colleagues in the Belgian capital, APA reports citing TASS.

"This is the first time this year that the EU Foreign Affairs Council is meeting. There are, of course, two major security challenges on the agenda that threaten our continent: the war in Ukraine and the conflict in the Middle East. There will be fierce debates, as unfortunately the pro-war party in Brussels still suggests that we commit ourselves to supplying weapons to Ukraine for many years to come, so far for 5 bln (!) euros," the foreign minister wrote on his page on Facebook.

Budapest earlier stated that it would not support the allocation of yet another tranche of military aid to Ukraine in the sum of 500 mln euros from the EPF as long as the current situation surrounding top Hungarian lender OTP Bank remains unresolved. The bank had been listed by Ukraine as being among the "international sponsors of [the Ukraine] war," but was later removed from Kyiv’s blacklist. Budapest is now seeking guarantees from Kyiv that such blacklisting of OTP Bank or other Hungarian companies will not recur in the future. Furthermore, Hungary does not endorse providing Ukraine with 50 bln euros in financial aid from the EU budget for 2024-2027, and instead is proposing that such assistance be provided gradually and with strict controls over how the funds are spent.

Szijjarto thinks that, "while the year is new, the war hysteria is the same." He believes "the last few days and weeks have repeatedly proven this war to have no solution on the battlefield and that only the death toll and the scale of destruction are growing." "The longer the war goes on, the more severe the casualties will be. How could this not be understood," the foreign minister added.

He also recalled that the EU foreign ministers were planning to discuss the situation in the Middle East in Brussels. "I hope that sooner rather than later we will come to a point where everyone realizes that the success of the counter-terrorism operation serves the interests not just of Israel, but of the entire world. We must ensure that no terrorist attack such as the one that ravaged Israel in early October will ever happen again anywhere in the world," said Szijjarto.

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