Following talks with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, President Katalin Novák said security is crucial for Hungary and its people.
Hungary’s NATO membership ensures security “both for the country and its region," President Novák told reporters. “Peace and stability are of paramount importance for Hungary,” she said. Hungary contributes to NATO’s missions and will soon meet its commitment to raising its defence spending to 2% of GDP, Novák said. The presence of Hungarian troops in the Western Balkans contributes to peace and stability in the region, she added. Meanwhile, Novák said Hungary supported Ukraine’s right to self-defence and would continue to provide humanitarian aid to that country. Hungary condemns Russia’s aggression against a sovereign Ukraine, she added. “The most important task is to find paths to peace,” the president said, calling for a ceasefire and peace talks. Novák also ruled out the possibility of any ties between Hungary and Russia “which could undermine [Hungary’s] ties with its allies and commitments within NATO as well as in the European Union”. Concerning the Middle East, President Novák said Hungary deeply sympathised with Israel and condemned the “brutal attack” it had suffered. The conflict, she said, focused international attention on the importance of stability in the region. Answering a question about Sweden’s NATO accession, Novák said it would “contribute to reinforcing NATO and increasing common security”. The president also noted the importance of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine, saying it was “highly important to honour minority rights especially when a country has ambitions to join our alliances”. Resolution of issues around the Hungarian community in Ukraine “is necessary for Hungary to maintain its supportive stance towards Ukraine’s battles”, she said.