Hungarian gov't allows deployment of NATO troops

Xinhua , Monday 7 Mar 2022

The Hungarian government issued a decree on Monday allowing NATO troops to be deployed in western Hungary and weapons shipments to cross its territory by land or by air to other NATO member states.

Viktor Orban
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. AFP

However, the decree signed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban and published in the official gazette on Monday forbids the transit of "lethal weapons" across Hungary to Ukraine.

"A decree has been issued making clear that weapons may not be delivered to the territory of Ukraine from the territory of Hungary," Orban said in a video message posted on his Facebook page following a meeting of the National Security Operative Corps.

The decree has gone against the earlier position of the Hungarian government that opposed the presence of NATO troops in Hungary.

"There are already NATO soldiers in Hungary: the Hungarian Armed Forces, which is a NATO unit. The Hungarian Armed Forces are in good condition to defend the country, so there is no need for external troops," Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said last month.

Since the Russia-Ukraine military conflict, the Hungarian government has repeatedly stressed that it would not allow NATO weapons shipments to Ukraine across its territory.

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