NATO offers up slim pickings for Kiev at Vilnius summit, Hungarian foreign minister notes

  BUDAPEST:  NATO’s Vilnius summit has produced only modest, small-bore results for Ukraine, with Kiev failing to obtain any timetable for a...

 


BUDAPEST:  NATO’s Vilnius summit has produced only modest, small-bore results for Ukraine, with Kiev failing to obtain any timetable for accession to the bloc, while getting formal interaction upgraded to the council level as a consolation prize, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said.

"The big question before the NATO summit was what Ukraine would obtain. Compared to the [pre-summit] expectations, held mostly by the Ukrainians themselves, the actual practical results were exceedingly modest," Szijjarto, who is attending the summit together with Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said in an interview with Hungary’s M1 TV channel.

He noted that Ukraine received neither an invitation nor a timetable for joining the alliance. "Only the Ukraine-NATO commission has been upgraded to the council level," the top Hungarian diplomat pointed out, adding that in the current situation, "this was the only right decision."

"It is quite clear that a country in a state of a war cannot be accepted into NATO because, according to the alliance’s own rules, this would entail the bloc as a whole being dragged into this war. So, I think that, right now, NATO made a responsible decision while managing to avoid an escalation in military action," he explained.

Szijjarto noted that Ukraine will now start drafting what is known as the annual national program for interacting with NATO, which should reflect reforms of both a military and political nature. "NATO is not only a defensive alliance but also a values-based community. Thus, for example, Ukraine should take on the obligation to respect and protect the rights of minorities," he said, emphasizing that Hungary will be paying special attention to this issue given Budapest’s concern over the treatment of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine. According to him, a decision on Ukraine’s compliance with the bloc’s membership criteria will be made later, taking into account the country’s actual performance.

Earlier, Budapest had repeatedly stated that it would not support Ukraine’s aspiration to join NATO and the EU until the Ukrainian leadership stopped infringing on the rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region.


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Local Glob: NATO offers up slim pickings for Kiev at Vilnius summit, Hungarian foreign minister notes
NATO offers up slim pickings for Kiev at Vilnius summit, Hungarian foreign minister notes
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