Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - Photo: MTI

Orbán: Hungary not to send ‘money or troops’ to war in Ukraine

Hungary has received the necessary guarantees that it will not be obliged to participate in military actions outside its territory, nor would it need to send money or troops to the war in Ukraine, while Hungary's territory "will not be used to get the country involved in the war", Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a joint press conference held after meeting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for talks in Budapest on Wednesday.

Hungary is a “loyal and committed member” of NATO, Orbán said, noting that the country currently had 1,300 troops participating in NATO missions. He added that Hungary was “one of the not too many countries” that performed “all their commitments” to NATO with its defence spending exceeding 2 percent of GDP and the country “also meeting the 20 percent capability development goal”.

Hungary also participates in missions policing airspace in Slovakia, Slovenia, and on several occasions in the Baltic states, Orbán added. Hungary also serves as “an important embassy, a liaison for NATO towards central Asia and African countries,” he added. Hungary will continue to meet its commitments in full in the future, the prime minister said.

Orbán praised Stoltenberg as a NATO leader highly appreciated in Hungary, adding that under his leadership cooperation between Hungary and NATO had strengthened.

Orbán also noted his government’s position on the war in Ukraine being different from that of most NATO members and said he acknowledged “the significant weight and number” of different positions.

He said he had made it clear during the talks that Hungary would not block NATO decisions “which could differ from the rational decisions based on our assessment of the situation but which other member states share and support”.

Hungary has received the required guarantees from Stoltenberg that “any military operation outside the organisation’s territory can only be performed on a voluntary basis,” Orbán said. The prime minister said in Hungary’s recent European parliamentary election voters had given “a mandate that Hungary should not participate in any military action outside the territory of NATO”.

Asked about guarantees ensuring that Hungary could not be forced to get involved in the war in future, Orbán said there were “two such guarantees: one is the Hungarian government and the other is the NATO secretary general”.

“We have received all [guarantees] that were necessary to resolve open issues … we had difficult but constructive talks concluded with a fair agreement,” Orbán said.

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