TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced on Tuesday that the country will not support any further EU funding for arms shipments to Ukraine until the nation removes Hungary’s OTP bank from its list of “sponsors of war.”
Szijjarto criticized Ukraine for including OTP bank on what he called a “list of shame,” deeming the reasons behind the move “outrageous” and “unacceptable,” according to RT.
Szijjarto stated that Hungary’s position is clear: EU funding for weapon shipments to Ukraine will not be approved until OTP bank is removed from the list. This decision not only affects the previously vetoed €500 million ($546 million) arms tranche but also any future military assistance.
The minister advised the EU against proposing additional financing for arms deliveries, saying, “It will be better if they (the EU) do not come up with any proposals to finance further arms deliveries.”
Following a meeting of the Hungarian-Jordanian joint economic committee, Szijjarto expressed Hungary’s commitment to helping the Ukrainian people and criticized the fact that Hungarians are suffering from a war they have no involvement in. He also found Ukraine’s attitude towards Hungary perplexing, stating, “We really sometimes have a feeling that they (the Ukrainians) are making fun of us.”
Szijjarto denounced the reasons cited by Ukraine for blacklisting OTP, referring to them as “ridiculous things” that deserve laughter. However, he acknowledged the seriousness of the situation surrounding the Hungarian bank, expressing horror over the development.
In May, Hungary blocked the EU military aid tranche for Ukraine due to what it perceived as an increasingly hostile attitude from Kiev towards the country.
The funds blocked by Budapest were part of the European Peace Facility (EPF), a €5.6 billion ($6.08 billion) purse used by the EU to finance foreign militaries and reimburse member states that send arms to foreign conflicts. Prior to the Ukrainian conflict, the Peace Facility had been utilized to provide non-lethal equipment to Georgia, Mali, Moldova, Mozambique, and Ukraine, amounting to less than $125 million.
Hungary has consistently called for a ceasefire and peace deal in Ukraine and has criticized the EU for supplying arms to Kiev. The country also contends that anti-Russian sanctions have a more detrimental impact on Europe than on Russia. In June, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the German tabloid Bild that a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield was “impossible.”