The European Union summit in Brussels on Thursday brought about “a big win” for Hungary, and the government “achieved all of its goals”, the minister of foreign affairs and trade said on Friday. Speaking after a meeting of ministers of the Association of South-East Asian Nations and the EU, Péter Szijjártó said the government had ensured that “monies Hungary is entitled to under the European treaties, which are being withheld unlawfully, will not land in Ukraine.”
“By taking part in the decision-making process, we had the opportunity to prevent Hungary’s frozen funding from landing in Ukraine. We also won acceptance of a control mechanism to ensure that the funds are spent according to the agreement, and that the European Commission reports on that to the EU Council.” The resources, he added, would be used to run the Ukrainian state, thereby helping its people, and not for weapon deliveries.
Responding to a question on the EU hiking resources earmarked for weapon deliveries to Ukraine, Szijjártó said Hungary “continues to oppose the measure and will stay away from such decisions, but won’t obstruct others in deciding otherwise.”
“We won’t be part of such a decision or take on political or financial burdens because of it.” Regarding the 500 million euros withheld from the European Peace Facility due to Hungary’s concerns, Szijjártó said that even though it had always been referred to as being very important for Ukraine, the issue had not been raised during his visit to Uzhhorod or during his meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
“This is only important for EU countries that have decided to deliver weapons to Ukraine and are now looking to have their deliveries paid for by European citizens,” he said. Hungary rejected the disbursement because Ukraine had subjected OTP, a Hungarian bank, to “unfair treatment”, he noted.
“I asked my Ukrainian colleagues to ensure a fair environment for Hungarian companies operating in Ukraine that are also key to the Hungarian economy,” he said. Regarding Hungary’s ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership, Szijjártó said Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson would be acting “decently and fairly” if he came to Hungary ahead of the parliamentary vote.