Hungary blocks €500 billion from fund that provides arms for Ukraine

According to a government spokesman’s office, Hungary did not approve the distribution of the subsequent tranche of military assistance for Ukraine supplied under the EU’s European Peace Facility.

The EPF, established in 2021, is an extrabudgetary tool intended to improve the EU’s capacity to foresee conflicts, foster peace, and bolster global security.

In an email response to Reuters regarding an Italian media report on the subject, which mentions the amount of the tranche – €500 million – the government spokesman’s office said, “Hungary does not agree with the fact that the European Union, along with other existing tools, uses the European Peace Facility solely about Ukraine as this does not allow sufficient funds to be channeled to promote the EU’s interests in other areas.”

Other regions where the monies could be spent, according to the report, include the Balkans or North Africa.

The spokesman’s office stated, “For the Hungarian government, it is essential that these issues be clarified, which is why it did not approve the disbursement of the next tranche from the EPF.”

For now, the EU has allocated over €3.6 billion for Ukraine’s military assistance through the EPF.

Hungary, which belongs to both the EU and NATO, has declined to give any military hardware to its neighbor Ukraine, which was invaded by Russian forces in February 2022.

Hungary has also criticized EU sanctions on Russia on numerous occasions; these sanctions must ultimately receive the support of all 27 EU nations.

Hungary and Brussels are at odds because Brussels has halted all payments from EU recovery money until Budapest’s nationalist administration makes changes to strengthen judicial independence and combat corruption.

Since taking office in 2010, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has struggled with the EU and its executive body, the European Commission, over Budapest’s restrictions on immigrant rights and tighter state control over non-governmental groups, academia, the media, and courts.

Photo: GETTY IMAGES

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