Hungary Threatens to Block EU Funding of Weapons Transfers to Ukraine Unless Ukraine Lifts Sanctions of OTP Bank
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced that Ukraine would halt European Union funding of weapons transfers to Ukraine unless Ukraine takes OTP Bank off its blacklist.
Because of its large degree of business in Russia, Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) put Hungary’s largest commercial lender OTP in May on its “international sponsors of war” list.
During a July 4, 2023 press conference, Szijjarto said that Hungary will not pitch in to any additional EU funding of arms transfers to Ukraine until Ukraine takes OTP off its “scandalous” list.
“Our position is clear: until OTP [bank] is removed from this list, Hungary will not greenlight any additional EU funding for weapon shipments to Ukraine,” the minister stated. The decision will not only encompass the €500 million ($546 million) batch of military aid that Hungary vetoed previously, but any additional military aid as well, he cautioned.
“It will be better if they [the EU] do not come up with any proposals to finance further arms deliveries,” Szijjarto claimed.
He described Ukraine’s sanctioning of Hungary’s largest commercial bank as “outrageous, unacceptable, and scandalous.”
“We really sometimes have a feeling that they [the Ukrainians] are making fun of us,” he stated, continuing, “We do sometimes get the feeling that we are being played, but we do not say it more often because there is a war going on in the neighborhood, and in such situations you have to be careful about the expressions you use.”
The minister added that Hungary was “doing everything to help the Ukrainian people,” and Hungarians “are paying the price of a war they have nothing to do with.”
Hungary has repeatedly pushed for a ceasefire and peace deal in Ukraine and blasted the EU for sending weapons to Ukraine. Hungary has also stressed that anti-Russia sanctions do more damage to Europe than they do to Russia.
Orban has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Collective West’s efforts to prolong the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. He firmly believes that Ukraine can’t come out victorious against Russia. In light of this harsh fact, Orban has called on the West to stop this deployment of aid and move towards the establishment of a negotiated peace process.
While these pleas by Orban are sensible, they will unfortunately be ignored by the fanatics running foreign policy in the Collective West.