Ukraine asked the Hungarian government for bulletproof vests and helmets but was categorically rejected, Azonnali has learned.
We also handed over to the Hungarian side a list of needs to strengthen our defense capabilities. It’s a very extensive list that includes various caliber ammunition, helmets and bulletproof vests, various military equipment including unmanned aerial defense devices, optical surveillance devices, digital communications devices, special medical vehicles and much more. The list also includes non-lethal military-technical equipment for providing assistance: military food kits, mobile kitchens, tents, portable water purification stations, and diesel generators.
-Ukrainian Ambassador to Budapest Lyubov Nepop told Azonnali in an exclusive interview last week.
Since then, the European Union and several Member States have provided wide-ranging assistance to the Ukrainian leadership to counter Russian aggression, even arms transfers. The EU may not only send anti-tank missiles, but even fighter jets to Ukraine, according to news reports earlier this week.
The only exception is the Hungarian government, which has consistently resisted requests by the Ukrainians.
The news site learned that the Ukrainian government once again appealed to leaders in Budapest this week with a request for protective helmets and bulletproof vests, but was rebuffed.
Thus far, the Hungarian government has announced that its only contribution to assisting Ukraine is allowing wounded Ukrainian soldiers to receive medical treatment in Hungarian hospitals.
In other words, Hungary is only providing humanitarian aid to its northeastern neighbor. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán previously said that Hungary was not able to send military equipment to the country because the Hungarian army needs every bit of what it already has. Azonnali did not receive a response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment on this article.
The news site also asked whether, following the attack by Russian, the Hungarian government would continue to block all attempts by Ukraine to further integrate itself into EU and NATO.
Earlier, the Hungarian government reportedly would not even agree to give Ukraine access to data from the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCE) in Tallinn, despite its importance for Ukraine’s defensive needs. Azonnali likewise did not receive a response from the relevant authorities to questions on this issue either.
However, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó announced on March 1 that Hungary was in favor of Ukraine’s accession to the European Union. [Azonnali]