The foreign minister said NATO has reaffirmed its open-door policy, but integration is open only to countries that would not risk the alliance’s security.
Speaking in Bucharest on Wednesday, Péter Szijjártó said that in a “telling” gesture, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia and Moldova were invited to the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting. At the same time, countries joining the alliance should “strengthen” member states’ security rather than “put it at risk”, he said. Szijjártó said he had met his Finnish and Swedish counterparts, and assured them of Hungary’s support for their countries’ NATO integration. The government has already submitted the draft ratification of their application to parliament, which, however, is “currently busy with legislation required by the European Commission”, he said, referring to legislation being passed to comply with EU requirements for Hungary to access EU funding. Sweden and Finland’s NATO accession is expected to be tabled early next year, he said. The meeting mainly focused on the global effects of the war in Ukraine, including economic recession, growing terrorism threats and the energy crisis, he said.
Regarding ties with China, Minister Szijjártó warned against NATO becoming an “anti-China bloc” and against blocking economic cooperation. The West has “enormous opportunities” when it comes to building relations with China, and the “European economy can’t succeed without it, especially after the havoc wreaked by the sanctions against Russia.” “Hungary, a meeting place of Eastern and Western companies, is an excellent example of that,” he said. Meanwhile, Minister Szijjártó said the “threat of African and Middle Eastern terrorism” was growing, and he called on NATO to tackle terrorism as well as challenges from the east. Regarding energy security, Szijjártó noted that Hungary saw the issue as a “matter of national security and sovereignty” in which it was unwilling to entertain political or ideological motivations. “It is important … that the alliance supports energy security rather than threatening it with sanctions or other restrictions, as regrettably happened during the construction of the TurkStream pipeline,” he said. Had Hungary caved into the pressure then, “it would be basically impossible today to supply the country with natural gas,” he said.