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Defense: Hungary approves NATO-Ukraine plan | STERN.de

Defense: Hungary approves NATO-Ukraine plan | STERN.de
Defense: Hungary approves NATO-Ukraine plan | STERN.de

No money, no soldiers: Viktor Orban rejects Hungarian participation in NATO support for Ukraine. Nevertheless, there should be no blockade of the plans.

Hungary will not participate in the planned expansion of NATO support for Ukraine, but does not want to prevent the project either.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he was happy that an agreement had been reached, following a meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest. Hungary would not participate in NATO’s plans financially or in terms of personnel. At the same time, Orban assured that Hungary would not stand in their way.

“Hungary does not want to block NATO decisions that other member states support,” Orban said. Hungary’s position on how to achieve peace in the Ukraine war differs from that of the other NATO states. However, Budapest acknowledges that “the weight and number of opinions that differ from ours are significant” and that Hungary cannot change that, added the right-wing populist Hungarian head of government.

Good relations with Moscow

Orban’s government maintains good relations with Russia. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Orban has tried to prevent Kyiv’s EU accession negotiations, delayed Western sanctions, and blocked offers of financial and military aid. He accused the EU of bringing the conflict to Europe by helping Ukraine. In his opinion, Ukraine cannot defeat Russia.

But now they have received guarantees that Hungary will not be forced to take action outside NATO territory. The conversation with Stoltenberg was “constructive” and a “correct agreement” was reached on the contentious issue, Orban continued.

International coordination of arms deliveries

NATO’s new project for Kyiv is primarily about the international coordination of arms deliveries and training activities for the Ukrainian armed forces. Ideally, it should be launched at the next alliance summit in Washington in July. It is also seen as a precaution in the event of a possible return of Donald Trump to the US presidency from January 2025.

Statements by the Republican in the past had raised doubts as to whether the US would continue to support Ukraine under his leadership in the defensive war against Russia. There are fears within the alliance that a political change of course in Washington could also affect the coordination of arms deliveries and training activities for the Ukrainian armed forces.

This task has so far been carried out by the United States. At the end of 2022, they set up a unit of around 300 soldiers called Security Assistance Group-Ukraine (SAG-U) at the European headquarters of the US armed forces in Wiesbaden (Hesse). The NATO team is now expected to have roughly the same number of personnel.

“NATO Security Assistance and Training for Ukraine”

The new project is currently referred to within the alliance as “NATO Security Assistance and Training for Ukraine” (NSATU). Most NATO states had previously actually spoken in favor of the name “NATO Mission Ukraine”. However, the German government took the view that this could be mistakenly understood as if the alliance wanted to send soldiers to Ukraine. It therefore feared that the name could be used by Russia for propaganda against the alliance.

Source: Stern

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