Update: 16.05.2023 22:09
Budapest – Hungary has blocked the payment of another part of the European Union’s military aid to Ukraine, the press service of the Hungarian government confirmed to Reuters today. Earlier, the Italian agency ANSA, citing an unnamed source, wrote that Hungary unexpectedly blocked the eighth tranche of military aid in the amount of 500 million euros (about 11.8 billion CZK). This aid should be provided to Kyiv next Monday, the BBC wrote on its Russian-language website.
Union aid is provided from a fund set up in 2021 called the European Peace Facility (EPF). This extra-budgetary resource is intended to strengthen the EU’s ability to prevent conflicts and ensure international peace and security.
“Hungary does not agree that the EU, along with other existing instruments, uses the EPF only for Ukraine, as this does not allow sending sufficient funds to promote the EU’s interests in other areas,” the Hungarian government’s press service said in a Reuters response to previous Italian media reports on this topic. According to Budapest, EU funds could be used in the Balkans or North Africa. “It is crucial for the Hungarian government that these issues are clarified, which is why it has not approved the payment of the next tranche from the EPF,” the spokesman added.
So far, the EU has provided Ukraine with military support in the EPF in the total amount of approximately 3.6 billion euros (about 85 billion CZK). Hungary, which is a member of the EU and also of NATO, refused to provide any weapons and military equipment to neighboring Ukraine, which was attacked by Russian troops last February. Hungary has also repeatedly criticized EU sanctions against Russia, the adoption of which must be unanimously approved by all 27 EU member states; but in the end, Budapest supported all the measures agreed so far.
The Reuters agency recalls Budapest’s disputes with Brussels, which has suspended the payment of money from the EU fund to restore the economy after the pandemic until the Hungarian government takes steps to ensure the independence of the Hungarian judiciary and fight corruption. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has been in power continuously since 2010, has clashed with the EU and its executive arm, the European Commission, over curbs on migrants’ rights as well as tightening state control over NGOs, universities, media and courts.
Source: České noviny – hlavní události by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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