YEREVAN — Hungary is blocking the European Union from providing modest military assistance to Armenia, a diplomatic source told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on Tuesday.
After months of deliberations, the 27-nation bloc moved earlier this year to approve such “non-lethal” aid from its European Peace Facility, a special fund designed to boost EU partners’ defense capacity.

A relevant draft document seen by RFE/RL’s Armenian Service in mid-April calls for 10 million euros (about $11 million) to be provided to the Armenian military over the next two-and-a-half years. The money would mainly be spent on creating a field hospital and auxiliary facilities for a battalion-size army unit. Its allocation requires the unanimous backing of all EU member states.

The European source that did not want to be identified said Hungary has for weeks been vetoing the decision and demanding that similar aid also be allocated to Azerbaijan. EU leaders are considering meeting Budapest’s demand in hopes of overcoming the deadlock, added the source.

In early April, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev warned Western powers against “arming Armenia,” including through the European Peace Facility. Aliyev has long maintained a warm rapport with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Unlike other EU member states, Hungary has openly supported Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Hungarian Foreign Ministry reaffirmed that support three days after the outbreak of the 2020 Armenian-Azerbaijani war in Karabakh.

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