Hungarian Conservative

Minister of Defence Reaffirms that Hungary Will Stay Out of NATO Engagement in Ukraine

Hungarian Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky in the group photo of NATO defence ministers (second row, first from right) standing next to German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius and behind US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on 14 June 2024 in Brussels
Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky in the group photo of NATO defence ministers (second row, first from right) standing next to German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius and behind US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on 14 June 2024 in Brussels
Olivier Hoslet/EPA/MTI
‘Hungary is not providing money, weapons or soldiers for this cooperation, but it is not blocking it either’, the defence minister reaffirmed after the NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels last week.

While other member states agreed on the framework of assistance to Ukraine, it has been reaffirmed that Hungary will not participate in NATO’s efforts on Ukraine, Hungary’s Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said after NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

In the run-up to the NATO summit to be held in Washington from 9 to 11 July, defence ministers from member states met in Brussels on 13–14 June. This year’s meeting is a jubilee one, as

NATO celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and Hungary has been a member of the alliance for 25 years.

At the two-day meeting NATO Defence Ministers agreed on a plan on how NATO will lead the coordination of security assistance and training to war-torn Ukraine.

With a command in Wiesbaden, Germany, NATO will coordinate training and equipment donations, with nearly 700 personnel from Allied and partner nations involved in this effort. NATO will also facilitate equipment logistics and provide support to the long-term development of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

‘These efforts do not make NATO a party to the conflict, but they will enhance our support to Ukraine to uphold its right to self-defence,’ said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Earlier this year, the Secretary General also highlighted  that NATO don’t have any plans and intention of deploying NATO troops to Ukraine

After the Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels, Hungarian Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky posted a video on his Facebook page outlining the key elements of the summit.



The minister underlined that in the meeting it had been confirmed that Hungary would not be involved in the organization’s efforts for Ukraine.

‘Hungary is not providing money, weapons or soldiers for this cooperation, but it is not blocking it either’, the defence minister said.

According to the Minister, it is very important for NATO to preserve its defensive character, which is why he considers the agreement between Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Hungary’s different position on NATO’s assistance to Ukraine to be of key significance.

Hungary has received assurances from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that it will not have to participate in military action outside its territory. Stoltenberg and Viktor Orbán held talks in Budapest on 12 June, during which Hungarys significant contribution to the alliance was also highlighted.

NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg Agrees to Hungarian Opt-Out from Ukraine Mission

'Hungary remains a committed, loyal and valued ally of NATO', the Hungarian Defence Minister stressed after the meeting in Brussels.

The minister also pointed out that Hungary had already achieved the 2 per cent of GDP defence spending last year, which it would maintain this year and intends to continue to do so in the future.

He stressed that Hungary is at the forefront in terms of its commitment to NATO, an alliance that is a guarantor of the security of the Hungarian people as well.

The minister highlighted that Hungary continues to participate in international missions of the alliance with sizeable troops, provides air surveillance in the Baltic and neighbouring countries, and a NATO division headquarters also operates in the country.

The minister also informed that Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov was present at the meeting in Brussels,

whose attention the minister drew to the active participation of Ukraine’s Hungarian ethnic community in the war. He reminded that ‘many of them made the highest and greatest sacrifice, giving their lives for Ukraine'. Therefore, it is rightly expected that the acquired rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine be fully restored.

‘Hungary is not providing money, weapons or soldiers for this cooperation, but it is not blocking it either’, the defence minister reaffirmed after the NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels last week.

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