The Orbán cabinet made it clear multiple times that they would not deliver weapons to Ukraine or train Ukrainian soldiers. Hungary provides humanitarian help for the refugees and the local Ukrainians and offered medical treatment for injured Ukrainian soldiers. However, the Slovak defence minister said yesterday that Hungary even trained Ukrainian soldiers. Huge turn in the government’s Ukraine policy?
According to Paraméter, a Hungarian news outlet in Slovakia (where more than 10 percent of the population is Hungarian), a shocking statement resurfaced made by the Slovak minister for defence, Jaroslav Naď. He and the minister for foreign affairs, Rastislav Káčer, took part in a discussion about the war in Ukraine in Nagymihály, East Slovakia. That was the 23rd part of the #HlbokáOnline series.
However, a pro-Russia group appeared at the discussion and provoked the ministers by shouting and yelling. Based on the report of the Paraméter, the two members of the Bratislava cabinet tolerated the circumstances quite well. Answering a question, Naď said that Czechia and Poland provided more help to Ukraine than Slovakia. “And who else should we help, if not our neighbour”, he added. That is when somebody from the pro-Russia group in the audience shouted that Hungary could decline such help.
The Slovak defence minister highlighted that even the Hungarians were helping. He said that it was only propaganda that Budapest did not help. He added that Hungary trained Ukrainian soldiers on Hungarian soil. “Maybe you do not even know that”, he replied to the Russia fan partaker.
Paraméter writes that Hungary is the only EU and NATO member country around Ukraine that did not send weapons for Kyiv to help them tackle the Russian invasion. The Orbán cabinet keeps saying that Hungary is interested in peace and arms deliveries prolong the military conflict, which is bad for Europe and good for Russia and the United States.
Since the outbreak of the war in East Ukraine (2014-2015), Hungary has been treating Ukrainian soldiers in several hospitals. Furthermore, after the Russian invasion, Hungary welcomed the refugees, offered them help and sent medicines and food to Ukraine, mostly to Transcarpathia, where around 130 thousand Hungarians lived before the war. However, nobody ever talked about training Ukrainian soldiers in Hungary. Paraméter did not write whether they asked the Hungarian defence ministry about the issue. But if the Hungarian government reacts to the statements of the Slovak minister, we will update our article.
You may watch the discussion below, but, of course, it is in Slovakian: