LUXEMBOURG (dpa-AFX) - The EU is launching around 1.4 billion euros in military aid for Ukraine against the will of the Hungarian government. The planned procedure was approved at a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday, several diplomats confirmed to the German Press Agency. This provides that Hungary cannot veto the decision because it is classified as a decision that can be taken by majority vote.

Hungary has been blocking the disbursement of EU funds for military aid to Ukraine for months. The government in Budapest justifies this with doubts about the efficiency of support for the attacked country and concerns about a further escalation of the conflict. In Brussels, however, it is assumed that it is also concerned with freeing up EU funds for Hungary that have been frozen due to concerns about the rule of law.

The approximately 1.4 billion euros now at stake are interest income from frozen assets of the Russian central bank in the EU. The EU had already agreed in principle several weeks ago to use this money for Ukraine. However, due to Hungary's veto policy, it was initially unclear when they could be used.

The procedure now chosen provides for the money to flow to countries such as Germany or the Czech Republic, which will then promptly provide Ukraine with equipment for air defense or artillery shells.

According to the Commission, around 210 billion euros from the Russian central bank have been frozen in the EU. The Brussels-based financial institution Euroclear recently announced that it had collected around 4.4 billion euros in interest in 2023.

The proposal for the indirect use of Russian funds for Ukraine was submitted to the governments of the EU member states by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell in March. It stipulates that 90 percent of the usable interest income from the custody of Russian central bank funds should be channeled into the EU fund for financing military equipment and training. The remaining ten percent is to be used for direct financial aid for Ukraine./aha/DP/mne