US NATO Ambassador to Hetek: we decide on Ukraine without Hungary
US NATO Ambassador to Hetek: we decide on Ukraine without Hungary

x/Ambassador Julianne Smith

2024. 06. 14.
Other allied member states have already asked for exemptions from certain NATO missions, and this is not unprecedented, US NATO Ambassador Julianne Smith told Hetek, regarding the Hungarian prime minister's commitment that Hungary will not block the NATO decisions on Ukraine at the Washington summit.

As reported, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after he met with Viktor Orbán in Budapest that he was pleased that an agreement had been reached on how Hungary could stay out of NATO operations in support of Ukraine. 

"Hungarian people are not participating in these operations and Hungarian financial means are not being provided"

, said the Secretary-General, who also underlined that Viktor Orbán had confirmed that Hungary would not obstruct or block NATO initiatives in this direction and would continue to comply with all its NATO commitments.

On the day of Secretary General Stoltenberg's visit to Budapest, the US Head of Mission invited our newspaper to a virtual press briefing, where we asked US NATO Ambassador Julianne Smith how she assesses the agreement on Ukraine reached at the meeting just three days after the European elections, and which side made the greater compromise to achieve it.

She confirmed that the Secretary General was in Budapest earlier this morning to talk about the upcoming summit and they spent some time discussing the Ukraine package, particularly. 

"I think folks now understand that NATO Allies are looking at ways to build a bridge to the membership for our friends in Ukraine,

and we’re going to do that through a variety of political and practical measures that will help build that bridge" - she stated.

The Ambassador pointed out, that the message that has come across from Prime Minister Orbán is that Hungary does not want to participate in whatever activity or mission the Alliance may craft going forward for Ukraine. 

"I think the message delivered is not dissimilar from what we’ve heard from other Allies throughout the Alliance’s history. 

Not every member of the Alliance always participates in every single NATO activity, or mission, for that matter"

- she said. 

The Ambassador added that "what was made clear in this engagement was that Hungary would like to continue to contribute in other ways to the Alliance and meet its existing commitments, but to the extent that the Allies are putting together this specific activity for Ukraine, it is quite clear that Hungary will not be participating."

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