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Hungary blocks €500 million payment to Ukraine – media

    Budapest reportedly wants the EU to spend its money elsewhere | 15 May, 2023 20:23

    Viktor Orban takes part in an EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 23, 2023 ©  AP / Olivier Matthys

    Hungary has blocked the transfer of €500 million ($544 million) worth of arms and military equipment from the EU to Ukraine, Italy’s ANSA news agency reported on Monday. With Kiev scrambling for Western arms to bolster its long-promised counteroffensive against Russian forces, the package was supposed to be sent next week.

    The package was supposed to be the eighth drawdown for Ukraine from the European Peace Facility (EPF), a €5.6 billion ($6.08 billion) fund that the bloc uses to finance foreign militaries and reimburse its own members who send arms to foreign conflicts. Prior to last February, the ‘Peace Facility’ had only been used to supply non-lethal equipment to Georgia, Mali, Moldova, Mozambique, and Ukraine, for a total of less than $125 million.

    Budapest refused to authorize the latest transfer unless it received “guarantees” that the EPF would remain “global” in its scope, and not be used solely to arm Ukraine, ANSA reported, citing “an informed source.”

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