‘What?!’ Orbán throws chilly water on Ukraine’s NATO hopes – POLITICO

Hungary’s troubled relationship with neighboring Ukraine spiraled once more Friday as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán dismissed the nation’s NATO desires with a one-word tweet. 

“What?!” the prime minister exclaimed in a Twitter publish responding to a POLITICO article on NATO Secretary-Common Jens Stoltenberg’s declaration in Kyiv on Thursday that “Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO.”

Relations between Budapest and Kyiv are tense. Hungary spent years blocking high-level NATO classes with Ukrainian officers, ostensibly over considerations concerning the rights of Hungarian audio system in western Ukraine. 

And regardless of condemning Russia’s full-scale invasion, Hungary has refused to ship weapons to assist its neighbor. Senior Hungarian officers, in the meantime, proceed to commonly go to Moscow and keep shut ties to the Kremlin. On the similar time, Hungary becoming a member of Turkey in blocking Sweden’s NATO bid has annoyed Western capitals.

NATO allies — together with Hungary — determined again in 2008 that Ukraine will ultimately be a part of the alliance. However Kyiv’s path to NATO has stalled, and in September Ukraine’s management requested an “accelerated accession” to affix. 

However the difficulty is very delicate. Most NATO allies — together with the U.S. — wish to keep away from any large strikes on the accession course of for Ukraine whereas the warfare is ongoing. 

A bunch of jap members is now pushing for NATO to present Kyiv a sign that it’s transferring nearer to the alliance. 

Throughout his go to to Kyiv, Stoltenberg mentioned he mentioned a multi-year NATO initiative to assist Ukraine transition away from Soviet-era army tools to the alliance’s personal requirements. 

But it surely stays unclear what sort of political sign NATO leaders will choose to present Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the alliance’s upcoming summit, scheduled for July. 

Talking in Germany on Friday morning, as Ukraine’s companions gathered at Ramstein Air Base to debate additional help to Kyiv, Stoltenberg reiterated that for now allies wish to preserve their eyes on the urgent problem of serving to Ukraine win. 

“All NATO allies have agreed that Ukraine will turn out to be a NATO member,” he mentioned. “However the principle focus now’s in fact on how to make sure that Ukraine prevails.”

“What we do know is that our help helps Ukraine transfer towards the Euro-Atlantic integration,” he mentioned, including, “and not using a sovereign, unbiased Ukraine, there is no such thing as a that means in discussing membership.”

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