Hungary considers challenges from the south as equally important as worries about Russia from NATO’s eastern flank.
Péter Siklósi, deputy state secretary in charge of security policy, cited instability in the Middle East and North Africa and the resulting interconnected threats of migration and terrorism as the main challenges.
Following a NATO meeting in Bucharest on Tuesday, Siklósi told MTI that the regional meeting of defense ministers from the Baltic states, the Visegrád Group, Bulgaria and Romania is meant to pave the way for a NATO summit for heads of government and state to be held in Brussels in July.
“We are united against challenges and NATO is clearly suitable and ready to protect member states,” he said.
He added that the participants of the B9 meeting in Bucharest were in agreement that a decision made at the NATO summits in Wales and Warsaw to adapt the defense alliance to new security challenges needs to be further implemented.
Siklósi said the Bucharest meeting dealt with the challenges posed by Russia which especially affect countries that neighbor the country directly or indirectly through the Black Sea. Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are less influenced by this, he added.
“I expressed Hungary’s solidarity with these member states but also called their attention to the equally important southern challenges that need to be addressed. North Africa, the Middle East and the instability there, resulting in terrorism and mass migration as mutually reinforcing factors. These challenges need to be addressed in a similar manner,” he said.