Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said strong national armed forces and a strong NATO are guarantees of Hungary’s security.
Following a meeting of his NATO counterparts in Brussels on Friday, the minister said the gathering was held for the finalization of NATO’s new draft strategy in preparation for the alliance’s upcoming summit in Vilnius next month. He said Hungary had performed well in tasks related to NATO’s decision to strengthen its eastern flank, noting the stationing of a multinational taskforce in its territory and the establishment of the Headquarters Multinational Division-Centre’s (HQ MND-C) in Székesfehérvár, in western Hungary. Hungary, however, has to defend itself against threats the country is facing from the south and from other directions, the minister said, making reference to the wave of migrants coming from the Balkans and the war in neighbouring Ukraine. Minister Szalay-Bobrovniczky said Hungary’s participation in performing common tasks with the third largest contingent dispatched under the KFOR mission shows the country’s commitment as an ally to NATO. Concerning future ties between NATO and Ukraine, the defense minister expressed Hungary’s continued support for the alliance’s “open door policy”, adding however that “accession of a country standing in war cannot be put on the agenda”. Minister Szalay-Bobrovniczky repeatedly called on Ukraine to meet pledges it made for a future membership with particular regard to minority rights.