Breaking from other NATO members, Hungary will not allow the transit of weapons bound for Ukraine through its territory, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday.
Szijjarto warned weapons deliveries bound for Ukraine could be targeted by Russia. “The reason for making this decision is that such deliveries might become targets of hostile military action,” he said.
Szijjarto said Hungary, which shares a small border with Ukraine, made the decision on the basis of national security and for the safety of people living in Transcarpathia, a region of western Ukraine that is home to Hungarian-speaking communities.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has pledged to “stay out” of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and doesn’t plan on sending weapons to the Ukrainians.
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his assault on Ukraine, the US and its NATO allies have rushed to promise Ukraine more weapons, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. Germany has also joined its allies in pledging arms to Ukraine, breaking from its new government’s policy of not sending weapons to conflict zones.
On Sunday, the EU announced a plan to give Ukraine over $500 million worth of arms to Ukraine. For the first time ever, the EU is financing the purchase of arms for another country. Despite its pledge not to send weapons to Ukraine, Hungary has signed off on the EU financing Ukrainian arms, according to Politico.
The EU also announced that European countries would be giving Ukraine fighter jets. A Ukrainian official told Politico on Monday that Ukrainian pilots have arrived in Poland to pick up fighter jets that are expected to be donated. It’s not clear at this point which countries are giving Ukraine the warplanes, but they are expected to receive older Russian-made planes.