Foreign Minister angry: aid to Ukraine approved against Hungary’s wishes

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Foreign Minister angry: aid to Ukraine approved against Hungary’s wishes

The EU is releasing around 1.4 billion euros in military aid to Ukraine against the wishes of the Hungarian government. The other members of the Council of Foreign Ministers referred to an earlier “fundamental decision” on this subject, from which Hungary had constructively abstained. Hungary’s foreign minister was angry after Monday’s vote.

“Our right to vote was simply ignored,” raged Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, who also spoke of violating a “red line.” After this “unprecedented violation of common European rules”, all legal options are being explored, Szijjártó announced at a press conference on Monday. At the same time, the Hungarian minister regretted that the ‘will of the European people was ignored’. After all, in the recent parliamentary elections in the EU, the government parties that advocated uncompromising support for Ukraine were “punished”.

Hungarian veto policy
The approximately 1.4 billion euros that is now at stake is interest income from frozen assets of the Russian central bank in the EU. The EU had already decided in principle to use this for Ukraine a few weeks ago. Due to Hungary’s veto policy, it was initially unclear when these could be used.

The procedure now chosen means that the money flows to countries such as Germany or the Czech Republic, which then promptly supply Ukraine with air defense equipment or artillery shells. According to Borrell, another billion euros in interest income will follow at the end of this year.

90 percent of the interest goes to military equipment
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the head of EU foreign policy, Josep Borrell, submitted the proposal for the indirect use of Russian funds for Ukraine to the governments of the EU countries in March. It stipulates that 90 percent of usable interest income from the safekeeping of Russian central bank funds should be channeled to the EU fund to finance military equipment and training. The remaining ten percent must be used for direct financial assistance to Ukraine. “We have a legal process to prevent any kind of blockage,” Borrell said.

According to the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) recalled that Hungary will hold the presidency of the EU Council for six months from July. That is why cooperation is necessary. “Like any presidency, the Hungarian presidency is called upon within the European Union to take the position of a neutral mediator who seeks to promote solutions rather than block them,” the minister said.

Source: Krone

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