The Hungarian government is blocking the payment of refunds to European Union countries that support Ukraine with arms supplies. Poland is waiting for a refund of EUR 800 million under the European Peace Facility (EPF), but Budapest does not allow another transfer.
According to information obtained in Brussels, Hungary they demand a guarantee from Ukrainethat their bank – OTP Bank – will not return to the list of entities considered to be sponsoring the war. However, Kiev does not provide this guarantee even though it previously removed this bank from the list. For now, the Hungarian government is blocking the payment of refunds under the European Peace Facility.
This information was confirmed by the Polish ambassador to the EU, Andrzej Sadoś, writes the Polish Press Agency. – Poland is the member state that provides the most weapons to Ukraine, which is why the EU reimbursements for us are the highest among the member states – adds the quoted ambassador.
European Peace Instrument
Created in 2021, the EPF is an off-budget instrument aimed at increasing the EU’s capacity to prevent conflicts, build peace and strengthen international security. Over the last 20 months, it has been used to reimburse member states for the costs of arms supplies to Ukraine and to finance missions.
Brussels media indicate that, according to some EU diplomats, Hungary’s blockade is harming not only Ukraine, but in fact the member states waiting for reimbursement of payments from the fund.
There are currently ongoing discussions on increasing the budget of the European Peace Facility.
The Hungarian bank was on the list of war sponsors
In early May, the Ukrainian National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAZK) added the Hungarian bank OTP to the list of international sponsors of the war. The decision was a response to the bank’s continued operations in Russia. OTP Group is the largest commercial bank in Hungary and one of the leaders in the financial services market in the Central and Eastern European region. It serves several million customers in 11 countries.
Main photo source: Radek Pietruszka/PAP