NATO summit – Orbán: NATO to strengthen “Eastern flank” protection without harming Russia deal
Warsaw, July 9 (MTI) – The North Atlantic Treaty will strengthen the protection of its “Eastern flank” without harming a NATO-Russia agreement, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Saturday after attending a two-day NATO summit in Warsaw.
Orbán told public news channel M1 that when eastern European countries joined NATO, it was a matter of debate for years whether “we will progress further and also implement NATO military capabilities”.
“Nobody wanted to make Russia an enemy while securing eastern Europe in military terms”, he said.
“We will not cancel the existing NATO-Russia agreements but there will be permanent military presence in some countries on a rotational basis and military command points in some other countries, including in Hungary,” Orbán said.
The location for the Hungarian military command point has already been selected, so in case military forces need to be transferred to Hungary to enhance protection, the structure of command will have been established, he said.
This shows that the NATO summit was extremely important from the point of Hungary and the Hungarian people, Orbán said.
He added that on Hungary’s initiative, NATO has agreed to contribute to the efforts against migration. Hungary’s aim was to get the organisation “involved in the European efforts to stop illegal migration”.
“We have managed to convince NATO to take our side … and stated that illegal migration must be stopped, external borders must be protected and the uncontrolled inflow (of migrants) represents risks not only to civilians but also to military security,” he said.
It is in NATO’s interest to put a stop to this activity and NATO will mobilise certain capabilities, primarily for the protection of sea borders, Orbán said.
Commenting on the NATO-Ukraine meeting, he said Hungary has always supported including “our eastern neighbour” in this security-defence system but “this notion is not supported by the majority here”. At the same time, he said the participants resolutely supported the rapid accession of Macedonia. It is in Hungary’s basic interest that after Montenegro, this Balkan state should also join NATO, he added.