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Confiscation of Russian assets: Hungary opposes funds transfer to Ukrainian military

Confiscation of Russian assets: Hungary opposes funds transfer to Ukrainian military Photo: The EU will not approve the confiscation of the proceeds of the frozen assets of the Russian Federation at the summit (Getty Images)

EU leaders will not be able to agree on the decision to confiscate income from frozen Russian assets for Ukraine at the EU summit, which begins today, March 21, due to Hungary's unwillingness to allocate these funds to purchase weapons for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, informs DW.

A senior European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, emphasized that among the majority of EU member states, there is a common understanding that the confiscated funds should be used to purchase weapons and ammunition for Ukrainian military forces.

"Currently, Ukraine needs more money for weapons, unfortunately, rather than for reconstruction. And we are striving to do everything to prevent further destruction in Ukraine," the DW source noted.

According to the source, the European Commission's proposal suggests that 90% of the income from frozen Russian assets should be used to purchase weapons for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. However, the DW interlocutor explained that Hungary opposes this, stating that this money should go to anything but weapons for Ukrainians.

Discussion on EU expansion

According to a diplomat, the discussion on EU enlargement will be another "contentious issue" on the summit agenda. In December 2023, EU leaders endorsed the opening of negotiations for Ukraine and Moldova's accession.

For negotiations to commence, EU member states must approve the negotiation frameworks presented by the European Commission, which serve as a roadmap for the accession process, and convene a meeting of the intergovernmental conference – a specially created body tasked with conducting negotiations directly.

Both of these decisions require unanimous support from all 27 EU leaders. However, there is a high probability that these two decisions will not be adopted during the current summit, the interlocutor noted.

Confiscation of frozen Russian assets

At the end of February, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that "it is time to start a conversation about using the proceeds from frozen Russian assets for joint purchases of military equipment for Ukraine."

According to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, until now, the possibility of using the proceeds has been considered as support for the reconstruction of Ukraine. However, recently, the main issue has become preventing further destruction.

Meanwhile, during the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on March 18, a decision was made to provide an additional 5 billion euros for military assistance to Ukraine through the European Peace Fund.