According to the Italian news agency ANSA, the reason why our country did not approve the payment of the European Peace Facility is because Hungary wants guarantees that the program will continue to maintain its “global horizon” and not only be used for armaments headed to Ukraine. The program was launched back in 2021 to support the EU’s “conflict prevention, peace-building, and strengthening international security” objectives, and the extra-budgetary envelope (over €5 billion) is now mainly used to support Ukraine, reports Magyar Nemzet.
The tranche to be disbursed is worth €500 million and was due to be paid next Monday. According to the Italian newspaper, Hungary did not approve the aid because it demanded guarantees that the EPF would not use the money exclusively to arm Kiev, but would maintain its “global horizon” in the future. The European Peace Facility was set up by the European Council to help member states better strengthen international security. Currently, member states are also buying arms for Ukraine through the EPF.
The foreign minister spoke clearly in Stockholm on Friday:
Hungary will find it very difficult to negotiate further financial and economic aid and sacrifices until Ukraine removes the largest Hungarian bank from the list of international sponsors of the war.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade responded to a question from Magyar Nemzet asking whether Hungary had indeed blocked the latest tranche of €500 million from the European Peace Facility.
This was a reference to the fact that Péter Szijjártó expressed his indignation at the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers on Friday that Ukraine had put the OTP Group on the list of “international war sponsors.”
OTP is the largest bank in Hungary. OTP has not violated any international law. The operations of OTP fully comply with all requirements and laws. In comparison, the inclusion of the bank on the list of international sponsors of war in Ukraine is unacceptable and scandalous,
the minister explained at the time.
Today I made it clear that we will enter negotiations on the eleventh package of sanctions very firmly, we will very firmly negotiate further sacrificial economic restrictive measures, as long as OTP is on this particular Ukrainian list, he said.
After the move, OTP also issued a statement refuting the main accusations of the Ukrainians in four points.
The government was also outraged over the leaked US information that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had in the past reportedly considered blowing up the Friendship oil pipeline, which is crucial for the operation of Hungarian industry.
via Magyar Nemzet, Featured image: Facebook/Péter Szijjártó