Hungary is blocking the release of another 500 million euros from EU funds to cover the cost of weapons for Ukraine, Budapest and European diplomats said.

EU countries have unlocked some 5.6 billion euros in common funding to help arm Ukraine in its fight against Russia since Moscow invaded last February.

The bloc's member states recently signed off on using two billion euros for a plan aimed at getting one million artillery shells to Ukraine over the next year.

That means the bulk of the nearly eight billion euros currently allocated to the joint European Peace Facility (EPF) has already gone towards Ukraine.

Budapest -- which has the closest ties in the EU to Russia -- says it is opposing a new disbursement as the funds were meant to support partners around the world, not just Ukraine.

"The Hungarian government does not agree that the European Union -– having other instruments at its disposal –- should use the European Peace Facility exclusively for Ukraine," the Hungarian government told AFP on Tuesday.

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"It is crucial for the Hungarian government that these issues are clarified, which is why it has not approved the disbursement of yet another tranche of the European Peace Facility."

Several European diplomats confirmed Wednesday that Hungary was stalling the new chunk of funds to reimburse EU countries for the cost of weapons sent to Ukraine.

Diplomats were still seeking to get an agreement for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, they said.

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The debate over the funding comes as Ukraine is desperately pleading for weaponry for its forces as they gear up for a counter-offensive.

The EU's member states agreed last year that they could in principle raise the ceiling of the EPF by another 3.5 billion euros to help see it through to 2027.

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Comments (7)

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Friend of e
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Perhaps putin should have taken Hungary since they care only for Hungary

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Nicole
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I live in the U.S. Alot of our citizens are tired of footing the bill and going further in debt for a war
which NONE of the NATO countries should be involved in. Due to a lack of communication between those 2 countries, a war broke out between them. NATO is enacting thier 5th rule regarding wars illegally. No EU or US or any other country now involved in this mess has the right to do so. That includes weaponry and financing. Neither Russia or Ukraine are under NATO protection, therefore they don't qualify to receive any of our money or weaponry. It's unfortunate that so many people have died by the US's hands (again). We started all of this by handing out trillions of dollars (9trillon) just to continue allowing anger and aggression and to keep those 2 countries from coming to an agreement on their own. Biden and NATO should keep their noses to themselves which is where it belongs.

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Joseph Swanson
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hungary under communist #BagsOfCash orban must either be kicked out of the EU & NATO or their vote regarding anything Ukraine ignored.

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I support
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Hungry what are you doing you seem confused about who you support.

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Dijon 7
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Kick those commie traitor Hungariansout of NATO and the EU. Disloyal, ungrateful, untrustworthy Putin bedfellows.

SafferCA
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@Dijon 7, I absolutely agree.

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William Spillman
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Why doesn't Orban just join the Russian Federation and get it over with. I'm sure the Hungarian people will be pleased as punch to be part of the new Russian empire.

James
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@William Spillman,

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James
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@William Spillman,Well said. When are they kicking Hungary out

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Bill Webster
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Orban is despicable. His time will come.

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