Hungary sending troops close to Ukraine border

The Hungarian defense ministry on Tuesday announced in a Facebook post that it would be sending troops close to the Hungarian-Ukrainian border, which is situated in the northeastern region of Hungary, Reuters reported.

The defense ministry did not quantify the number of troops that would be moving toward its border with Ukraine but noted that they were being deployed for humanitarian and security purposes, the news wire noted. 

Hungarian Defense Minister Tibor Benko said that in the next few days military equipment would be making its way toward the eastern side of the country, Reuters reported, citing Hungarian news outlet MTI.

He explained that the military moves were being conducted for preventative measures in case conflict in Ukraine moves east to west, possibly happening close to Hungary’s borders, the news outlet noted.

The development comes as two regions of eastern Ukraine were recognized as independent by Moscow on Monday and Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into the two areas — the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic — for “peacekeeping functions.”

President Biden announced sanctions against Russia later on Tuesday in prepared remarks, including against Russian elites and their families, sovereign debt and two Russian financial institutions. The president said he believed that Russia’s moves in Ukraine were only the start of an invasion into Ukraine.

“He is setting up a rationale to take more territory by force, in my view,” Biden said about Putin as he delivered remarks on Tuesday afternoon. “This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.” 

The European Union nations also voted to impose their own set of sanctions against Russia, including limiting capital and financial market access and prohibiting some EU services from Russian access. 

“We will make it as difficult as possible for the Kremlin to pursue its aggressive policies,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, according to The Associated Press.

Tags European Union hungary Joe Biden Russia sanctions Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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