News   /   More

Hungary threatens to retaliate over Ukraine's sanctioning of OTP

This picture shows a lady doing banking activities at an ATM belonging to OTP Bank in Budapest, Hungary. (File Photo)

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto says Budapest would block EU funding of arms transfers to Ukraine unless Kiev removes OTP Bank from its blacklist. 

Due to its huge volume of business in Russia, Ukraine's National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) placed Hungary’s biggest commercial lender OTP in May on its “international sponsors of war” list.

Szijjarto said at a press conference on Tuesday that Hungary will not contribute to any further EU funding of arms transfers to Ukraine until Kiev removes OTP from the "scandalous" list.

"Our position is clear: until OTP [bank] is removed from this list, Hungary will not greenlight any additional EU funding for weapon shipments to Ukraine," the minister said. The decision will cover not just the €500 million ($546 million) tranche of arms Budapest vetoed earlier, but any further military assistance as well, he warned.

"It will be better if they [the EU] do not come up with any proposals to finance further arms deliveries," Szijjarto asserted.

He described Kiev's sanctioning of Hungary's biggest commercial bank as "outrageous, unacceptable, and scandalous."

"We really sometimes have a feeling that they [the Ukrainians] are making fun of us," he said, adding, “We do sometimes get the feeling that we are being played, but we do not say it more often because there is a war going on in the neighborhood, and in such situations you have to be careful about the expressions you use.”

The minister added that Budapest was "doing everything to help the Ukrainian people," and Hungarians "are paying the price of a war they have nothing to do with."

Budapest has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and peace deal in Ukraine and criticized the EU for sending arms to Kiev. Hungary has also insisted that anti-Russia sanctions hurt Europe more than they hurt Russia.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the German tabloid Bild last month that a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield was an "impossible" task for Kiev and its backers.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku