FM: "Hungary Faced Huge Pressure for Additional €500M Payment for Weapons to Ukraine"

Some called Hungary's stance unfair, others said it was scandalous.

2023. 11. 14. 11:49
Luxembourg, 2023. október 23. Szijjártó Péter külgazdasági és külügyminiszter az EU-tagországok külügyminiszteri találkozóján Luxembourgban 2023. október 23-án. MTI/EPA/Julien Warnand Fotó: Julien Warnand
Vélemény hírlevélJobban mondva- heti vélemény hírlevél - ahol a hét kiemelt témáihoz füzött személyes gondolatok összeérnek, részletek itt.

There has been enormous pressure on Hungary to agree to another 500 million euro payment from the European Peace Facility for weapon deliveries to Ukraine, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a press conference in the break of an EU foreign ministers's meeting, according to a statement released by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"Of course, I didn't agree to this at today's meeting, as we continue to maintain our position that we will not be able to make progress on this issue until it is guaranteed that Ukraine's anti-corruption agency will never again use trumped-up accusations to put OTP Bank or any other Hungarian company on its list of sponsors of the war," he underlined.  

"Some called it [Hungary's stance] unfair, others said it was scandalous, strongly criticizing it, but I asked my EU colleagues not to mislead the public," he said.

Because this isn't support for Ukraine. This 500 million euros would help member states which decided to deliver arms to Ukraine as sovereign countries to recover part of the price of those weapons,

he pointed out.

No one is stopping anyone from supporting Ukraine, the issue is simply that the states concerned are not getting back part of the price of the weapons they have decided to deliver, he emphasized. 

"But once again, Hungary will not contribute to paying 1500 million euros until Ukraine's anti-corruption agency guarantees that Hungarian companies, including OTP, will not land on the list of international sponsors of the war based on unfounded, completely false and sometimes ridiculous accusations," he said.

Regarding Ukraine's EU candidacy, Peter Szijjarto said the country was very far from fulfilling the requirements and even from any sort of progress. 

On the issue of minority rights, a priority in the EU, Ukraine has been backsliding and the situation has deteriorated further, he emphasized.

We have had reports that the Ukrainian education ministry instructed schools in a circular that teachers and students should use the official language, Ukrainian, in their interaction even during breaks,

he disclosed.

"So, instead of the Ukrainians getting closer to meeting the conditions set by the European Union, (...) they are further away from it, the situation is even worse. We Hungarians see and experience this firsthand," he added.

The government sees no reason to advance Ukraine’s candidacy, he said. "Besides, the European Union should take peace to third countries rather than importing war into the bloc," he said. 

"I'm sure we will be under mounting pressure on the issue. I think it is particularly cynical on Ukraine's part that they're obviously not even trying to solve the issues important to us (...)  They are expecting Hungarians to eventually cave under the growing pressure," he said.

"We consider this to be a rather impertinent and cynical attitude, and in no way can it be interpreted as a sign of willingness to cooperate in a fair manner," he said in conclusion.

Cover photo: Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto at the EU foreign ministers's meeting in Luxembourg on October 23, 2023 (Photo: MTI/EPA/Julien Warnand)

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