Prime minister Viktor Orbán in Brussels – Photo: PMO

Five nations to join Hungarian battalion battle group

Orbán: Hungary manages to assert interests at NATO summit

Hungary's standpoint and the national interest were successfully asserted at the NATO summit, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Thursday, adding that Hungary will not send soldiers or weapons to Ukraine.
24. March 2022 17:40

In a video statement, the prime minister said: “It has been accepted that we will not send weapons; neither will weapons be allowed through Hungarian territory on the way to Ukraine.”

NATO members, he added, had established a common position that preventing the war from spilling over the borders of Ukraine was of paramount importance, and that meant a no-fly zone was off the table.

“This is good news for Hungary,” he said.

Also, NATO has decided to strengthen central European countries neighbouring Ukraine — Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, he noted.

NATO forces will be stationed in Hungary in a defensive role, Orbán said.

“We await them. Together with the Hungarian army, “they will guarantee the peace and security of Hungary and the Hungarian people,” he added.

Five nations to join Hungarian battalion battle group

Five nations to date have indicated their intention to join the Hungarian battalion battle group, Peter Szijjarto, Hungary’s foreign minister, said after NATO’s extraordinary summit in Brussels on Thursday.

Hungary continues to give priority to “not being dragged” into the war in its neighbourhood, Szijjarto said on Facebook, adding that from this point of view the summit’s results met Hungary’s expectations and dovetailed with its national interests.

Szijjarto called it a major achievement that NATO had reinforced its position that it is not, and does not wish to become, a belligerent party in the conflict.

“Every possible effort should be made to prevent the war from escalating and spilling beyond the borders of Ukraine,” he said.

Szijjarto said NATO had decided to set up eight battalion battle groups on its eastern-southeastern flank to beef up its military presence in the region. The Hungarian battle group already established has been operating within NATO’s framework under Hungarian command, he said.

The combat team is open to troops of other NATO member states, Szijjarto said, adding that five countries — the United States, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro and Italy — had indicated their intention to delegate hundreds of soldiers to the unit.

The troops concerned will be stationed west of the Danube and involved in joint training and exercises, he said.

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