Hungary denies passage for crucial weapons to reach Ukraine in brutal blow for EU

Ukraine: Army general says Britain could go to war with Russia

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Hungary will not send troops or weapons to Ukraine and will not allow lethal weapons to transit its territory in order to keep the country safe, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday during a visit to Kosovo.

Speaking after meeting Kosovo Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla, Mr Szijjarto said: “The reason for making this decision is that such deliveries might become targets of hostile military action and … we have to ensure the security of Hungary … that we are not getting involved in that war,”

Prime Minister Viktor Orban also confirmed the decision in a video he posted on social media.

He said: “These are busy days.

“The National Security Cabinet met again this morning and were reviewed the latest developments in the Russian-Ukrainian war.

“We’re at war, we need calm.

“It is in the interest of the Hungarian people that Hungary is left out of this.

“Therefore Hungary will not send weapons or soldiers to the war zone.

“We also had to decide whether to allow arms shipments to pass through the Hungarian-Ukrainian border.

“We decided not to let such shipments through because there are Hungarians living in Transcarpathia, and we cannot support any action that could jeopardise their security.

“Of course, we will provide humanitarian assistance.

“Yesterday and today, Hungarian relief supplies arrived in Ukraine, and we are taking care of everyone fleeing Ukraine.”

The decision came after the European Union broke a “taboo” by agreeing for the first time to jointly finance weapons deliveries to a third country to help Ukraine fend off the Russian invasion, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell has said.

European defence ministers met via video-conference on Monday to coordinate the deliveries of the arms, which began to arrive in Ukraine over the weekend.

The EU will use a special fund, set up in March 2021, called the European Peace Facility (EPF) to pay for the arms.

The Facility has a total of 5 billion euros to be provided directly by EU countries proportionate to the size of their gross national income until 2027. It sits outside the EU budget.

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The bloc will also provide provide €450 million for weapons for Ukraine and €50 million for non-lethal equipment from the EPF.

The EPF replaced the earlier “Athena mechanism” and the African Peace Facility that the EU had, broadening the scope of help the EU can provide globally.

It allows the EU to provide military equipment and training.

In the non-lethal category, the EU expects to pay for fuel, ballistic helmets, personal protective equipment and first aid kits. In the lethal weapons category it expects ammunition, munitions, air defence systems and anti-tank systems.

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