Weekly newsletter

Ukraine’s Relations with Hungary Should Improve in Exchange for Further EU Funds

MTI-Hungary Today 2023.06.27.

Hungary will not approve the next tranche of €500 million from the European Peace Facility to finance new arms shipments to Ukraine until Kiev removes Hungarian OTP Bank from the list of international sponsors of the war, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Luxembourg on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, the Minister said that Member States had agreed to increase the European Peace Facility’s resources by €3.5 billion, but that the Hungarian government had given its consent only after receiving a legal guarantee to preserve the “global nature” of the fund. This means that the Western Balkan and African countries will also benefit from this increased amount, in order to maintain stability in these regions and thus prevent new waves of migration that pose a security threat.

In this context, Péter Szijjártó pointed out that the European Peace Facility was running out of money, as some six billion euros had already been used to partially finance arms transfers to Ukraine.

This shift in focus, however, is strongly opposed by the Hungarian government, as the original purpose of the instrument was to help maintain stability around the world, thus mitigating security threats to the continent.

The Foreign Minister stressed that the pressure was enormous, with almost all participants pressing for the payment of the additional €500 million tranche for arms supplies to Ukraine, but Hungary did not approve it.

We have still not agreed to the European Union financing new arms deliveries to Ukraine from the increased amount of the European Peace Facility, because we made it clear earlier that we are only willing to lift our veto if the Ukrainian authorities put an end to the ridiculous, lying situation that led to OTP, the largest Hungarian bank, being put on the list of international sponsors of the war,”

he emphasized.

Ukraine Refuses to Remove OTP Bank from "Sponsors of War" List
Ukraine Refuses to Remove OTP Bank from

The Hungarian government has repeatedly asked for the removal of OTP bank from the list on several platforms.Continue reading

“This is our clear expectation, we are not willing to give it up, but it is nonsense that while Ukraine expects the European Union, including Hungary, to make further financial sacrifices to finance the arms supply, it puts the largest Hungarian bank on the list of war sponsors and keeps it there,” he underlined.

The Foreign Minister added that he has made it clear to the High Representative and to his ministerial colleagues that they should also take steps in the issue. “If it is so important to them to pay this additional €500 million for arms supplies, they should at least do enough to get the Ukrainians to take OTP off this list,” Szijjártó stated.

The Minister stressed that the Ukrainian authorities “could easily overcome this situation, they could take OTP off this list in a minute if they wanted to, but it seems that the will is not there at the moment.” Finally, he pointed out that the Ukrainian authorities had listed the financial institution on the basis of four grounds, all of which were “ridiculous, false, and untruthful.”

EU Funds Arriving in Hungary for Ukrainian-related Projects
EU Funds Arriving in Hungary for Ukrainian-related Projects

Although Hungary and the European Union are still far from an agreement on EU funds, it can be said that money is still coming into the country for various projects.Continue reading

Featured photo via Facebook/Володимир Зеленський

    [1536x1536] => Array
            [width] => 1536
            [height] => 1536
            [crop] => 

    [2048x2048] => Array
            [width] => 2048
            [height] => 2048
            [crop] =>