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Hungary slows down EU's initiative to help Ukraine with revenues from natural resources - FT

Hungary slows down EU's initiative to help Ukraine with revenues from natural resources - FT Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (Photo: Getty Images)

Hungary has blocked the European Union's approval of directing profits from frozen Russian assets towards the purchase of weapons for Ukraine, according to the Financial Times.

Five anonymous individuals who attended the EU ambassadors' meeting on Wednesday, May 22, stated that Hungary is hindering the EU initiative to provide weapons for Ukraine.

After prolonged debates, EU countries agreed to use profits from approximately €190 billion, stuck in the Belgian central securities depository Euroclear, for purchasing weapons for Ukraine.

However, the Hungarian ambassador opposed accelerating the payments, which prevented the principle of unanimity in making such decisions from being upheld.

"For the time being they are blocking everything connected to the military support to Ukraine," said one of the anonymous sources.

He also suggested that Budapest's reservations will likely remain until next month's European elections.

According to a second source, EU officials offered Hungary a deal to agree to use the profit from frozen Russian assets. According to it, a portion of the funds allocated by Brussels would not be used to purchase weapons for Ukraine.

This convinced Budapest not to veto the scheme, but it is delaying the implementation by not supporting the necessary legislation.

Frozen Russian assets

Western partners of Kyiv have frozen assets of the Central Bank of Russia worth about $300 billion since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The profits from these assets are now proposed to be used to help Ukraine.

Members of the G7 allegedly decided not to unfreeze the assets until Russia pays compensation to Ukraine.

For more details on the prospects of Ukraine receiving frozen Russian assets and their interest, read RBC-Ukraine's material "Interest payments from frozen Russian assets: Why EU's option might not work for Ukraine."