Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, asked US President Donald Trump to influence Norway to complete an arms deal.
Hungary had signed an agreement with Norway for the acquisition of the NASAMS (National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System), which is produced by the Kongsberg Group in cooperation with Raytheon.
The price tag for the weapon system is $1 billion writes VG newspaper, but the signing of the agreement stalled due to the ongoing conflict between Hungary and Norway.
The conflict is about how to use a Norwegian contribution of 214.6 million euro (around 2.1 billion kroner). The moneys are EEA funds given with clear guidelines from the country that donates them. The Hungarian authorities, on the other hand, wishes to decide how the money is used, which is contrary to the EEA rules.
During a meeting the prime minister of Hungary had with Trump in Washington in mid-May, this matter became a main theme. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware that the case was a topic during Orbán’s meeting with Trump VG newspaper has confirmed. It is perceived as unacceptable on the part of Norway that the purchase of defense materials and negotiations on a new framework agreement on EEA funds was put in such a context.
‘’There is no connection between these cases, and it will not, in any case, make us change our position in the negotiations. We are in regular contact with the US authorities and we have no reason to believe that the US will follow up the Hungarian initiative’’ said State Secretary, Audun Halvorsen of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to VG.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today