EU member explains why it’s not sending arms to Ukraine
Hungary refused to supply Ukraine with weapons because Budapest is trying not to get involved in the conflict between Moscow and Kiev in any way, the country’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told CNN on Tuesday.
The foreign minister explained that the Hungarian-Ukrainian border offers the safest passage and is used for delivering humanitarian supplies. Given that all parties know that Hungary does not supply weapons, the aid may stream into Ukraine unimpeded, he added.
The minister also reminded that 150,000 Hungarians live in the Western part of Ukraine, and should Hungary start arms deliveries, they may become targets. “We don’t want them [Russians] to shoot at the areas where Hungarians live, that’s why we would not like to get involved in this conflict,” he reiterated.
Szijjarto also pushed back on comments made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who criticized Hungary for its reluctance to slap sanctions on Moscow and for not doing more to help Kiev to fight off the Russian offensive, dismissing the barbs as “unfair.”
“We are carrying out the largest humanitarian relief effort in the history of our country… We do not expect anyone to say ‘thank you’ to the Hungarians, although tens of thousands of Hungarians joined forces to work day-by-day to take care of hundreds of thousands of poor Ukrainians,” he stressed.
According to him, Budapest insists only that Ukraine does not “provoke, accuse and say bad things” about Hungary because it made one decision on weapon deliveries that Kiev dislikes.
Hungary’s ambassador to Germany Peter Gyorkos also said in late June that Budapest does not want to be lectured on its relations with Russia and does not plan to levy “radical sanctions” on Moscow.
On Tuesday, Russia warned the West that a chunk of its weapons deliveries meant for Ukraine had failed to reach their destination. “Some of the foreign weapons supplied by the West to Ukraine are spreading throughout the Middle East region, and also end up on the black market,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said.