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Stoltenberg said Orban's visit to Moscow will not change NATO's position on Ukraine


WASHINGTON — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday that Hungary's far-right prime minister Viktor OrbanThere is no change in his visit to Moscow last week for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. NATO's position on aid to Ukraine Despite this, Hungary is a member country of this alliance.

“Prime Minister Orban … he made it clear when he came to Moscow that he didn’t go there on behalf of NATO, different NATO allies interact with Moscow in different ways,” Stoltenberg said on “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Hungary took over the largely ceremonial role of the EU's six-month rotating presidency on Monday, July 1. In less than a week, Orban has Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky In Ukraine he launched the “Patriots for Europe” coalition together with other right-wing nationalists, according to Reuters.

But on Friday, during a rare visit to Russia by a European leader, he also met Putin, just days before a NATO summit in Washington DC where the topic was discussed. Providing further military support For Ukraine, this would be the frontrunner.

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on “Face the Nation”, 7 July 2024.

CBS News


Despite other European officials condemning Orban's visit to Moscow, Stoltenberg stressed the meeting would not change NATO's shared goals of assisting Ukraine in the war sparked by Russian aggression.

“The important thing for me is that all allies have agreed that we need to do more for Ukraine, both with new training and support that NATO is providing to Ukraine, as well as long-term pledges,” he said on “Face the Nation.” “And I also hope that by the summit, which starts next week, allies will make new announcements on more air defense and more ammunition.”

Stoltenberg said a key factor in NATO's ability to decide on how to support Ukraine is the shared goal of peace.

“And the only way to get there is to convince President Putin that he will not win on the battlefield, he has to sit down and accept a solution in which Ukraine prevails as a sovereign, independent nation in Europe,” Stoltenberg said. “The only way to convince Putin that he will not win on the battlefield is to give Ukraine military assistance abroad. So a lasting negotiated solution for Ukraine requires military assistance to Ukraine.”

The summit in Washington this week also comes at a time when NATO allies brace for a possible Trump victory in 2024,

During former President Donald Trump's first term as president, U.S. allies were shocked by his open criticism of some NATO members' failure to meet defense funding commitments, and the Trump campaign has said that calling on allies to increase their defense spending is a policy a future Trump White House will aggressively pursue.

Trump said at a campaign rally in South Carolina in February that he would encourage Russia to “do whatever it takes” to NATO allies that don't pay their fair share to the Western military alliance. Referring to a conversation with an unnamed leader of a NATO country, Trump said he responded, “If we don't pay, will you still protect us?”

The NATO secretary general met Mr Biden at the White House in June ahead of this week's summit. When asked on Sunday about his personal assessment of Mr Biden as an effective leader, Stoltenberg said their conversation had been positive.

“We had a good meeting and it was a productive meeting. And of course, without strong American leadership there is no way to make big decisions like strengthening NATO further, expanding NATO, adding new members,” he said.

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