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Media: Hungary blocks 500 million euro EU military aid package for Ukraine

Hungary continues to block a military aid tranche from the European Peace Facility to Ukraine, despite Ukraine’s recent removal of the Hungarian OTP Bank from its list of war sponsors.
Media: Hungary blocks 500 million euro EU military aid package for Ukraine

European Union foreign ministers have not agreed on releasing a €500 million tranche of the European Peace Facility (EPF) to support Ukraine militarily at their meeting on 23 October, Rikard Jozwiak, a journalist with Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty in Brussels, reported.

“The Hungarian bank OTP has been de-listed from the “doing business in Russia blacklist” but Budapest want legal as assurances that this is permanent,” Jozwiak wrote on X (Twitter).

Hungary has previously blocked the funds over Ukraine’s inclusion of Hungary’s OTP Bank on a list of international sponsors of the war.

Later, on 23 October, EU top diplomat Josep Borrell confirmed that there is still no agreement on releasing a €500 million tranche to help arm Ukraine. Borrell announced the lack of decision at a press conference in Luxembourg, European Pravda reported.

In May 2023, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said they would block the next tranches of EU military support for Ukraine and any new EU sanctions package against Russia until the OTP Bank was removed from Ukraine’s list of war sponsors.

On 28 September, Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NACP) temporarily suspended the status of the Hungarian OTP Bank and five Greek shipping companies from the list of international war sponsors.

On 20 October, Ukrinform reported citing an unnamed EU official that, the European Union expects Hungary to unblock the tranche amid ongoing negotiations.

We are still discussing this issue (the tranche – ed.) with Hungary and Ukraine. Ukraine removed the OTP Bank from the list of organizations cooperating with Russia. However, there are still certain ongoing issues, and the relevant EU services, including the European External Action Service, are fully engaged in these discussions between Kyiv and Budapest. So we expect that sooner rather than later, we will be able to have an agreement and disburse the next tranche from the European Peace Facility,” the official said, according to Ukrinfrom.

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