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NATO head says Hungary won't veto support for Ukraine but will not participate

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has agreed not to veto NATO aid to Ukraine. In return, Hungary will be allowed not to participate in NATO Ukraine support. File Photo by NATO Presse/ UPI
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has agreed not to veto NATO aid to Ukraine. In return, Hungary will be allowed not to participate in NATO Ukraine support. File Photo by NATO Presse/ UPI | License Photo

June 12 (UPI) -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday Hungary will not block NATO Ukraine support in return for being able to opt out of that support.

Stoltenberg announced the arrangement at a press conference alongside Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

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"I am glad that we have found a way to allow NATO Allies to agree that but at the same time, also accept the position that Hungary will not participate," Stoltenberg said. :It's not a NATO obligation to participate in all NATO missions and the operations or activities as long as all NATO Allies adhere to the core obligations in the Washington Treaty, our collective defense, our security guarantees."

Stoltenberg explained that no Hungarian personnel or money will support the NATO actions supporting Ukraine as part of the deal that saw Orban and NATO agree that Hungary won't block other NATO allies from supporting Ukraine as it defends against the Russian invasion and occupation.

That arrangement, Stoltenberg said, will be finalized when NATO leaders meet in Washington in July.

At that NATO summit key decisions will be made, including on deterrence and defense, according to Stoltenberg.

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In December Orban's government in Hungary blocked $55 billion in European Union aid for Ukraine, despite the other 26 EU nations support for it.

European Council President Charles Michel didn't name Hungary, but said at the time that the Ukraine aid was firmly supported by 26 out of the 27 EU nations.

Orban had earlier opposed starting formal EU membership negotiations with Ukraine.

The other EU countries had voted to begin EU accession talks with Ukraine just hours before Hungary's blocking action on Ukraine assistance.

Earlier this month the European Commission said both Ukraine and Moldova had met requirements to open talks about joining the EU.

That step advanced the process for the two nations, but ultimately all 27 EU member countries will have to unanimously agree on the negotiating frameworks for admitting Ukraine and Moldova.

Orban is expected to use Hungary's vote to block their EU membership.

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