Briefing notes

War in Ukraine: NATO’s position coincides with the Hungarian national interest

NATO's position is to do everything possible to prevent the conflict from spreading beyond Ukraine's borders, Szijjártó said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at the meeting of foreign ministers of the defense alliance in Berlin that Hungary’s most important concern as a neighboring country of Ukraine is to prevent the war from spreading further. 

He stressed that NATO is a defense alliance and that it is in Hungary’s interest and its most important task to protect Hungary and the Hungarian people.

Szijjártó said that they respect the fact that quite a few member states are helping Ukraine with arms deliveries, but it is very important that these deliveries are not made within a NATO framework. Members also agree that NATO is not supplying weapons to this conflict.

Hungary has also decided not to supply arms to Ukraine and not to allow supplies going directly to Ukraine to pass through its territory because this helps ensure the country does not drift into war, the minister said.

Hungary fully supports this and welcomes the fact that the U.S. and Russian defense ministers had a direct telephone conversation this week, he said. 

Referring to the humanitarian aspects of the war, Szijjártó said at the meeting that the number of refugees arriving in Hungary from Ukraine had reached nearly 700,000. 

The minister said that the meeting also touched on the issue of punitive measures against Russia, pointing out that it makes no sense to impose sanctions that hurt ourselves more than the country against which they are imposed. 

He stressed that Hungary continues to maintain its position that the Hungarian people should not pay the price of war. Speaking about Finnish and Swedish NATO accession aspirations, he stressed that Hungary has always supported the open-door policy, but that the sensitivities shown by Turkey must be taken into account.     

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