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Feb 15, 2019

PM Orbán: Hungary’s goal is for the world’s major powers to have an interest in its economic success

The PM said the Obama administration assigned less importance to central Europe, but President Trump’s administration paid closer attention to the region

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that Hungary’s goal is for the world’s major powers to have an interest in its economic success.

Speaking with Figyelő, the prime minister said the reason US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently visited Hungary was “because we’re [Hungary and the US] allies”. He added that the Obama administration assigned less importance to central Europe, but President Trump’s administration paid closer attention to the region.

The prime minister noted that Hungary and the US had finalized the update to a bilateral defense cooperation agreement signed between the two countries in the 1990s on the status of American soldiers in Hungary. “We settled the technical questions in a way that ensures that Hungary’s sovereignty remains intact,” PM Orbán said, adding that the ratification of the pact would not require a constitutional amendment.

“Hungary must be, and remain, sovereign in the event of any military operation launched from its territory,” the prime minister said.

PM Orbán said the bilateral agreement should be in place so that Hungary is capable of defending itself against attacks from any direction. “I’m one of those people who consider NATO important, but I don’t think Hungary’s security should be based solely on NATO,” PM Orbán said. “We need to be capable of defending ourselves against attacks on our own.”

When asked how Russia could react to this move, The prime minister said that though Hungary’s relationship with Russia was important, “Hungary’s military security comes first”.