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Szijjarto: Hungary’s red lines on Ukraine funding, military training crossed in EU

The crossing of red lines in the European Union has started, with the bloc ignoring Hungary's right to decide on the matter of 1.4 billion euros for financing arms deliveries to Ukraine and sending military trainers there, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said in Luxembourg on Monday.

Szijjarto said pro-war governments had “failed massively” electorally, yet “war hysteria” had ratcheted up ever since and “they have ignored the will of the people”. During a break of the EU Foreign Affairs Council he told a press conference that it was clear that many EU member states were preparing gearing up for a long war.

He noted that another 1.4 billion euros from the European Peace Fund would be used to finance weapons for Ukraine, “even though Hungary doesn’t assent to this”, adding that the funds essentially matched seized or frozen Russian assets.

As Hungary abstained from the first vote on their use, he said EU bodies and member states had taken that as a cue to ignore Hungary’s position and its right to decide.

“This is a clear red line,” the minister said, adding that disregarding common European rules had been regarded in the past as “a shameless violation”. He insisted that European rules were being breached by those who vociferously advocated rule-of-law procedures and talked about the threat to democratic values.

Szijjarto said it appeared that the EU apparently was willing to carry on crossing red lines, referring to a proposal by the EU’s foreign policy chief on training Ukrainian soldiers on Ukrainian territory as well as in other countries, which he called “extremely dangerous”. This proposal would also “cross a red line”, he said, warning that this would be “the first step” towards stationing EU troops in Ukraine.

The minister also said that Hungary was under immense pressure to assent to the release of around 6.5 billion euros from the European Peace Framework for the purpose of making further arms shipments to Ukraine, adding that if the Ukrainian authorities carried on discriminating against Hungarian companies, “there can be no question of this” happening.

Szijjarto said the Ukrainian authorities were considering stripping Hungarian pharma company Richter of some of its distribution licences and may be drafting a new list of “companies that support the war”, putting Hungarian companies in the crosshairs once again.


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