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Hungary continues to halt aid to Ukraine: Zenon Kowal elaborates on causes

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April 26,2024 303
Hungary continues to halt aid to Ukraine: Zenon Kowal elaborates on causes

The publication Index reports that Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Péter Szijjártó, stated that Budapest would block the European Union’s €2 billion assistance to Ukraine.

Zenon Kowal, a member of the UWC Board of Directors, a Political Advisor to the Association of Ukrainians in Belgium, and a Special Advisor to the Embassy of Ukraine in Belgium (1992-1995), explained that the discussion of providing Ukraine with this funding took place recently at the meeting of the European Union’s Council of Foreign Ministers.

“These two billion are intended to increase the transfer of ammunition to Ukraine. One billion is planned to be allocated to supply Ukraine with ammunition/projectiles that are among the reserves of EU countries, and the other billion (since the reserves are starting to deplete) is intended for joint procurement of ammunition,” Kowal explained.

This time, Hungary explained its decision to halt aid by stating that Kyiv discriminates against Hungarian companies and “until the situation changes, the provision of assistance will not be approved.”

“Hungary’s position remains unchanged: until we receive guarantees from the Ukrainian side that they will stop hunting Hungarian companies, we will not be able to facilitate the adoption of such decisions,” Szijjártó said.

Zenon Kowal says Hungary consistently opposes Ukraine when it comes to allocating funds. “Almost everyone in the European Union supports assistance to Ukraine. However, Hungary has expressed certain reservations and objections from the very beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Hungary, like Slovakia, among others, is highly dependent on energy resources from Russia. Secondly, the Hungarian government is also working in this way to protect the internal market, to show its population that it is defending national interests,” Kowal explained.

So far, despite Hungary’s opposition, the European Union has already adopted 13 packages of sanctions against Russia. “At the end of the negotiations, Hungary either agreed or, as the last time [the EU decision to allocate €50 billion in assistance to Ukraine on February 1 – ed.], it was ‘not in the room’ during the vote (Chancellor Scholz asked Prime Minister Orbán to step out of the room for a moment). Therefore, they voted without it.”

Zenon Kowal emphasizes that it is Ukraine’s responsibility to continuously inform EU countries about the truth about the country’s ongoing situation. “Ukraine always influences the situation by providing proper information to its partners in the EU,” concluded a UWC Board of Directors member.

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