FM: NATO membership for Ukraine "is clearly out of the question"

"They are trying to conjure an image of [Ukrainian] NATO accession while everyone knows this is out of the question and cannot be a matter of discussion,” Minister Szijjártó said.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that realistically, NATO membership for Ukraine "is clearly out of the question" as this would raise the threat of a direct conflict with Russia.
Speaking on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Washington, DC, Minister Szijjártó said talks had been plagued by “enormous duplicity… They are trying to conjure an image of [Ukrainian] NATO accession while everyone knows this is out of the question and cannot be a matter of discussion.” Szijjártó said the situation had led to “grammatical summersaults” in the summit’s closing declaration, “because if NATO admitted Ukraine, we would live under the constant, open and extremely dangerous threat of war, as Ukraine’s NATO membership would foreshadow direct conflict between Russia and NATO.” While that is no one’s goal, “the mainstream is suggesting that the closest possible cooperation is necessary,” he said. Hungary was only willing to agree to the closing statement if it stated that any future NATO accession of Ukraine must be adopted unanimously, he said. “Once again, Ukraine will not be invited to NATO, so its membership is effectively off the table,” the minister added.
On the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington, DC, the foreign minister said the alliance had earlier considered countries “good allies” based on their contributions to NATO security, participation in missions and the money spent on them. “They are now starting to rewire the issue,” Szijjártó said, insisting that those helping Ukraine the most were considered the best allies. “But Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and NATO’s security depends not on how strong Ukraine is but on how strong we are.”
Of its 32 member states, 23 have fulfilled the alliance’s aim to raise defence spending to 2% of GDP, Szijjártó said, noting that Hungary had reached that milestone 3 years ago. “If we scratch the surface a little, it becomes obvious that many countries have included weapons delivered to Ukraine as part of that 2%, even though that does not strengthen the alliance’s collective security,” Szijjártó said. “This is a kind of hypocrisy, as NATO’s strength and defence capabilities depend on our own strength and not that of Ukraine, as NATO is a defence alliance rather than an aggressor alliance,” Szijjártó said.
Regarding the requirement that countries spend 20% of their defence spending on development, Szijjártó said Hungary was spending 48% of its own defence budget on defence and industrial development, the second-highest ratio in Europe. “The measure of who is considered a reliable and good ally should be who contributes to NATO’s security rather than political pamphlets and statements,” he said. “Hungary will continue to focus on attempts to keep NATO strong and not let it drift into the war.” The draft resolution launching a mission to support Ukraine by coordinating weapon deliveries and military training operations endangered that aim, Szijjártó said. “We have made an unequivocal agreement with the incumbent and the incoming [NATO] secretaries general … that no Hungarian soldiers will participate in such an operation, and the country’s territory cannot be used to advance such aims and budget resources cannot be funnelled into it,” he said. Hungary will also keep out of a support fund for Ukraine, he said. “I think this is dangerous, not only because it’s a lot of money, but also in view of the underlying approach. A long-term financial plan for a war shows that they think it will drag on for a long time,” he said.