NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Stoltenberg in Budapest: NATO accepts Hungary’s non-participation in operations to support Ukraine

NATO accepts Hungary's position under which the country does not wish to participate in military or financial efforts towards supporting Ukraine, while Hungary would not block such NATO efforts, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after talks with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest on Wednesday.

At a press conference held jointly with Orbán, Stoltenberg said he was expecting an agreement at NATO’s July summit in Washington, DC, under which the organisation could take a leading role in coordinating and promoting security support and training for Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said he hoped NATO would take a long-term financial commitment to provide military support to Ukraine, adding that it would ensure NATO’s predictability and reliability for Ukraine. He referred to Orbán stating that Hungary would not participate in those NATO efforts, adding that “I accept this position”.

Stoltenberg welcomed that he and Orbán had made an agreement ensuring ways for Hungary’s non-participation in NATO’s support for Ukraine. He confirmed that no Hungarian personnel would take part in those NATO activities and no Hungarian funds would be used for such purposes.

The NATO chief said Orbán had assured him that Hungary would continue to meet its NATO commitments in full. He said Hungary had always been a highly esteemed NATO ally in the past 25 years and highly appreciated the Hungarian prime minister stating that Hungary would remain “a loyal and committed” NATO ally.

Stoltenberg noted that Hungary was leading a multinational NATO unit and also hosted an important multidivision headquarters while it also supported stability in the Western Balkans and participated in KFOR’s peace-keeping operations in Kosovo. He added that since the start of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine Hungary had continued to accommodate Ukrainian refugees and helped in the rehabilitation of injured soldiers. All those efforts have contributed to common security, the NATO chief said.

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