Orban Backs Rutte for NATO Chief

Hungary has dropped its opposition to Mark Rutte's candidacy for NATO secretary general after a meeting between Rutte and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán during the EU leaders' council in Brussels, as reported by media outlets in the Netherlands, Agence France-Presse, and the Financial Times. Reports indicate that Budapest no longer demands an apology from the outgoing Dutch prime minister regarding his comments on Hungarian democracy.

Only the British publication mentions that Rutte has "made an offer" to Hungary, the most pro-Russian country in the EU and NATO, promising that under his potential leadership, Hungary would not have to participate in NATO actions supporting Ukraine, including financial contributions. Reuters noted that this commitment had already been made the previous week by the current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who will remain in office until October. Rutte is expected to leave his position in July.

Slovakia has shown its preference for a new NATO Secretary General who is geographically closer, supporting Mark Rutte for the role. President Peter Pellegrini, whose party is an ally of Prime Minister Robert Fico, made this announcement, indirectly referencing the Romanian president Klaus Iohannis's candidacy.

The outgoing Dutch prime minister has garnered support from key alliance members such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Hungary's recent agreement leaves Rutte awaiting only Romania's position. Since 2019, Romania's Mircea Geoana has held the position of deputy NATO Secretary General, marking a first for a post-Cold War member country.

Meanwhile, current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that China must face consequences if it continues...

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