Budapest, March 23 (MTI) – Hungary is a committed member of NATO and is ready to participate in shaping the alliance’s collective security, the Hungarian defence minister said in Thursday on the sidelines of a NATO Transformation Seminar in Budapest.
It is necessary to increase defence spending, but it is also important to use that budget more effeciently, Istvan Simicskó told a press conference.
He indicated in line with that goal Hungary’s plans to spend 20 percent of the country’s defence budget on developing the army’s capabilities.
Addressing the press conference, Rose Gottemoeller, NATO’s Deputy Secretary General, welcomed Hungary’s plan.
She called Hungary an important NATO ally serving in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq, among other missions.
At the press conference, she noted new dangers faced by NATO in cyberspace, which member states declared a new area of operation at their summit in Warsaw. Goettemoeller further noted NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Estonia set up to boost cyber defence.
Simicskó said cyber defence is a major issue for Hungary and plans are afoot to establish a designated centre within the country’s military national security services.
Denis Mercier, Supreme Allied Transformation Commander, said NATO’s future and how the alliance positions itself to respond to future challenges had been a key topic of the two-day conference.
Simicskó expressed sympathy towards the victims of Wednesday’s London terrorist attacks and their families and he said it was important to boost the defence mechanisms of NATO, the European Union and individual member states.
Mass migration to Europe provides a prime opportunity for terrorists to reach the EU, Simicskó said, adding that efforts to thwart them should be concentrated in the conflict zones themselves.