Hungary on Wednesday said it would continue to block EU aid to Ukraine due to Kyiv’s “increasingly belligerent” attitude.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Ukraine won’t receive a $543 million tranche of aid until it removes Hungary’s OTP Bank from a blacklist of alleged supporters of Russia’s war. Arguing against the listing, OTP’s Ukrainian branch said it had “drastically reduced its presence in the Russian market.”
Szijjarto said Hungary “cannot support the allocation of another half a billion euros from the European Peace Facility for arms transfers to Ukraine, and we will not give it the green light as long as OTP is on this particular list.”
Szijjarto also said Kyiv was limiting the educational rights of ethnic Hungarians inside Ukraine and pointed to a Washington Post report that said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proposed blowing up the Druzhba pipeline, which delivers Russian oil to Hungary and several other countries.
“If no more oil were to come to Hungary through this pipeline, then Hungary’s oil supply would simply not be physically possible,” Szijjarto said. “Therefore, such a threat is obviously against Hungary’s sovereignty.”
According to the Post, one of the classified US documents that leaked on Discord said Zelensky suggested in January that “Ukraine should just blow up the pipeline and destroy likely Hungarian [Prime Minister] Viktor Orban’s industry.” The document also said Zelensky could have just been “expressing rage toward Hungary and therefore could be making hyperbolic, meaningless threats.”