FM: Hungary opposes NATO’s coordination role in weapons deliveries to Ukraine

The foreign minister said the government’s main goal was to protect Hungary from the war in Ukraine.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary opposes an increase in NATO’s coordination role in weapons deliveries to Ukraine and training Ukrainian soldiers, and will not participate in the planning, implementation or financing of such activities.

Minister Szijjártó told a press conference during a break in a NATO foreign ministers’ council meeting that the government’s main goal was to protect Hungary from the war in Ukraine. As a result, it considered NATO’s earlier unanimous decision very important under which the organisation would not be part of the armed conflict and would do everything to avoid a direct confrontation with Russia, he added. He welcomed the fact that all previous proposals within NATO had respected these red lines and warned that the latest proposal would bring the organisation closer to war. When the proposal was discussed, Hungary asked the other member states to consider that coordination of military support had been done so far without the involvement of the alliance, he said. “Since the majority of member states, I could say 31 of them, agree with having to increase NATO’s coordination role in these two areas … planning work will now get started,” he said. “But we have made it clear that Hungary does not want to and will not participate in this,” Minister Szijjártó said. “Hungary will therefore not participate even in the planning phase,” he added. “We will not participate in the consequent tasks and actions, and we will not provide financial support, either,” he said. “No activity can take place on the territory of Hungary … which results from an increase in NATO’s coordination role in training and weapons deliveries,” he added.

The foreign minister said the government maintained the position that it would not participate in weapons deliveries and would not send soldiers to the war in Ukraine. “No Hungarian soldier will participate in such tasks and the monies of Hungarian taxpayers must not be used for such purposes,” he added. Since Ukraine will not be invited to NATO’s Washington summit, he described the proposal as a substitute action, adding that it was “very dangerous and expensive”. “This is why I made Hungary’s position clear once again,” he said. “We are concerned that such proposals only bring NATO closer to the war than ever before, and we do not agree with increasing NATO’s coordination role either in the training of Ukrainian soldiers or in the delivery of weapons, so Hungary will not participate in it,” he reiterated. He said the strategy that Ukraine would achieve significant success on the battlefield thanks to Western weapons deliveries had clearly failed, and it only resulted in an increase in the number of military equipment in destructive warfare. He added that Hungary was a reliable and important ally, as proven by an increase in military spending to above 2% of GDP last year, which he said had only been achieved by eight member states. Hungary also fares well in spending 20% of its military budget on developments, he added.