Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has expressed skepticism regarding NATO’s supposed unanimous support for Ukraine’s inclusion in the US-led alliance. Orban took to Twitter to share an article from Politico about NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s visit to Kiev, where he stated that Ukraine deserved a “rightful place” within NATO. Orban simply replied with “What?!” to the article.
Stoltenberg’s visit to Kiev on Thursday was his first since hostilities between Russia and Ukraine began in February 2022. During a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Stoltenberg praised the ongoing military aid from NATO member states to Ukraine and insisted that the multi-year support initiative for Kiev was evidence of NATO’s long-term commitment to the country.
Stoltenberg claimed that Kiev has a “rightful” place in the alliance, but he did not provide a specific timeline for Ukraine’s potential accession. Meanwhile, Zelensky urged Stoltenberg to convince some NATO members to supply long-range rockets and modern fighter jets to Ukraine.
However, Hungary has repeatedly stated that it will not support Ukraine’s applications to either NATO or the EU. Budapest has also refused to provide military aid to Kiev or allow such shipments to pass through its territory to Ukraine.
The disagreement between Budapest and Kiev stems from Ukraine’s attitude toward its ethnic Hungarian minority, of which there are approximately 150,000 in the Transcarpathian region.
Kiev’s efforts to crack down on Russian speakers following the 2014 Maidan coup have also affected other minorities, including Hungarians. Kiev, on the other hand, has repeatedly accused Budapest of interfering in its internal affairs by granting citizenship to Ukraine’s ethnic Hungarians.