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Hungary Resists EU Pressure to Fund Ukraine With Profits From Frozen Russian Assets

© Sputnik / Alexey Vitvitsky / Go to the mediabankHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.05.2024
Prime Minister Viktor Orban has vehemently opposed the ongoing NATO proxy war in Ukraine, with Hungary opting to chart its own independent foreign policy course. Earlier in the year, Hungary was for weeks the sole country blocking the EU's $54 billion aid package for the Kiev regime.
Hungary is yet again refusing to kowtow to EU diktat on funding weapons for the Kiev regime. In this case, it is reportedly holding up legislation to fast-track handing Ukraine profits from illegally frozen Russian assets.
Specifically, it is objecting to forgoing a requirement for unanimous backing from all 27 member states for each cash disbursement to Kiev, the Financial Times reported, citing sources.
“For the time being they are blocking everything connected to the military support to Ukraine,” one insider was cited as saying, adding that Budapest would likely stick to its guns until the European elections in June.
EU officials are said to have offered Hungary an arrangement whereby their share of the funds would not be used to purchase weapons for Ukraine. This reportedly stopped Budapest from vetoing the scheme entirely. But Budapest’s concerns were about making payments automatic, one source claimed.
Hungary has staunchly refused to be pressured into funding the ongoing NATO proxy conflict in Ukraine. Prime Minister Viktor Orban reiterated this stance on Friday, as he appeared on state radio.

“We do not approve of this, nor do we want to participate in financial or arms support [for Ukraine,] even within the framework of NATO,” Orban said, adding that Hungary has to "redefine our position within the military alliance, and our lawyers and officers are working on ... how Hungary can exist as a NATO member while not participating in NATO actions outside of its territory.”

Last December, Orban held up the EU's allocation of 50 billion euros in aid to Ukraine, and has been adamant that the conflict cannot be settled on the battlefield.
Gold coins - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.05.2024
‘Expropriation’: Kremlin Blasts EU Decision to Use Income From Russian Assets
In a decision that took months of debate, the European Union announced on Tuesday that it had approved the use of income from frozen Russian assets for Ukraine. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky added that 90% of the sum would go to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. It is estimated that an interest worth up to three billion euros ($3.25 billion) could be used for weapons from the EU to prop up Kiev’s military, mired in manpower and hardware shortages, and battlefield woes.
The EU published a detailed decision on frozen Russian assets as part of the package of economic sanctions against Moscow, effective as of May 23.

Following the start of Russia's special military operation, the US-led West slapped widespread sanctions on Moscow, including freezing Russian assets worth approximately 300 billion euros ($329 billion). The bulk of this sum, approximately 200 billion euros ($221 billion), is being held in the European Union, predominantly in accounts at Euroclear, a European central securities depository.

There is also a separate US plan in the works to issue a loan to Ukraine – possibly worth around $50 billion – that could be repaid by the future income earned on the Russian assets. The plan has been pushed by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for months. Finance chiefs of the G7 are “making progress” on ways to use income from frozen Russian assets “to the benefit of Ukraine,” according to a draft statement cited by Reuters.
According to Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner, Berlin was “prepared to take further steps that would not have any legally disadvantageous or economically risky consequences.” A final decision is expected at the G7 summit in Italy on June 13-15.
Western governments, faced with legal challenges that seizing Russian assets outright would entail, have decided to use the interest accrued from these assets. They believe that such a strategy exposes them to less legal liability.
Moscow has castigated the decision by the EU to use income from frozen Russian sovereign assets to help Ukraine as expropriation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
"They see the potential danger of such decisions and understand the danger for them of the potential consequences that are inevitable, so they went for a truncated version, but the truncated version is nothing more than expropriation," Peskov told reporters.
Russia will continue assessing the consequences of the EU's decision and its response, Peskov added.
From the outset, Russia has warned that the EU plan to seize Russian Central Bank assets was an "escalation of economic aggression" and a gross violation of the West’s own law, international rules, and bilateral obligations. Russia has reserved the right to respond in a correspondingly harsh manner.
One hundred rubles banknote is pictured in front of a one US dollar banknote, Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Monday, April 25, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.05.2024
West's Plan to Seize Russian Assets: "Legal Loophole or Theft?"
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