Hungary Did Not Support 500 Million Tranche of EU Off-Budget Military Support for Ukraine

Monday, 26 June 2023

Hungary has not supported the allocation of the next tranche of 500 million euros of the European Peace Fund to EU member states over the blacklisting of OTP Bank by the Ukrainians.

"We are ready to change our mind if the Ukrainians put an end to the ridiculous, lying state whereby OTP, the biggest Hungarian bank, is on the list of the international sponsors of war," Reuters quotes Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Foreign Minister, who announced this at a press conference on Monday.

Hungary already blocked the disbursement of this tranche to member states in May citing the same issue.

The EPF, created in 2021, is an off-budget instrument aimed at enhancing the EU’s ability to prevent conflicts, build peace and strengthen international security.

On Monday, the EU Council adopted a decision increasing the overall financial ceiling of the European Peace Facility (EPF) by €3.5 billion, building on an earlier agreement from 20 March 2023.

In early May, the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) blacklisted the Hungarian OTP Bank as an international "war sponsor." The decision was explained by the bank's management's position to continue operating in Russia and the institution's effective recognition of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk "people's republics."

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