Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has signed a decree banning weapons supply to Ukraine, explaining the decision by the need to defend his own country’s security.
In a video statement, published on Monday on Facebook, the prime minister said that the decree has been released following an assessment of the situation in Ukraine. As the “military actions are getting closer and closer to the Hungarian border,” Orban said, it was decided to outlaw the weapons supply.
“The order makes it clear that weapons cannot be transported from Hungary’s territory to the territory of Ukraine,” Orban said.
The announcement follows a Sunday statement by the country’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, who said that the government’s paramount goal was “to prevent Hungary from entering this war.”
“To this end, we resist the pressure and the demands of the opposition: We will not send neither soldiers nor weapons to Ukraine, nor will we allow the transfer of deadly weapons in our territory,” Szijarto wrote on Facebook.
The decree banning weapons supply to Ukraine allows NATO forces to be stationed in Hungary and authorizes the transport of weapons shipments via its territory to other NATO members.
Hungary, unlike many of its Western partners, condemned Russia only two days after the offensive had begun, with the country’s President Janos Ader saying that Hungary shared the “joint position of the EU and NATO.”
Later on, PM Victor Orban confirmed that his country would not veto EU sanctions against Moscow.
As tens of thousands Ukrainian refugees are fleeing from the conflict to Hungary, Orban pledged support for them, saying that “everyone fleeing Ukraine will find a friend in the Hungarian state.”
The Russian attack on Ukraine has stated goals of “demilitarizing” the country, protecting the Donbass and defending Russia’s own security. The West responded to the offensive with harsh sanctions, targeting various sectors of the country’s economy as well as Russian top officials.