FM: Hungary will remain uninvolved in weapons deliveries to Ukraine

The foreign minister said the Hungarian government refused to bear any financial burdens of the arms supplies.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said in Brussels on Monday that Hungary will remain uninvolved in weapons deliveries to Ukraine, but will not block other European Union member states from sending them.

The foreign minister added that the Hungarian government refused to bear any financial burdens of the arms supplies. EU member states “still refuse to abandon their failed strategy, despite its failures having been proven over the past weeks”, Minister Szijjártó told a press conference after a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, according to a ministry statement. “The longer this war goes on, the more people will die and the greater the destruction will be,” the minister said. He criticised as “disappointing” a proposal by the European External Action Service (EEAS) to allocate 5 billion euros within the European Peace Facility towards weapons deliveries this year, which would then be extended on a yearly basis. Szijjártó said that though this was “a notch softer” than the previous proposal, it still signalled a long-term commitment to the war. Under the EEAS’s proposal, Hungary’s contribution would have to be 23 billion forints (EUR 60.1m). “Giving new momentum to weapons deliveries is completely unacceptable to Hungary,” the minister said. He added, at the same time, that the Hungarian government did not want to block any other member state from supplying weapons to Ukraine, noting that they were accountable to their own electorate. “We certainly won’t spend another 23 billion forints of our taxpayers’ money over a single year so that others could send weapons to Ukraine, which protracts the war, extends the suffering and brings more death and destruction,” he said. Szijjártó said the EU should instead open the channels of communication and help secure a ceasefire and the start of peace talks between the warring sides. Meanwhile, Szijjártó said he and his counterparts had also discussed a thirteenth sanctions package against Russia, “even though the restrictions imposed so far have mainly hurt Europe and haven’t moved the conflict any closer to a settlement”. “But of course, if one brings this up, as I regularly do, I’m immediately accused of spreading Russian propaganda,” he said. Szijjártó said he had warned his counterparts against imposing any sanctions on the nuclear industry, saying Hungary would not support any such measure. He also pointed out that Russia last year became the United States’ top supplier of enriched uranium, citing reports of imports worth over one billion dollars.