Hungary is one of the world’s safest countries
13. 07. 2018.
In Brussels on Thursday, during a break in a meeting of the heads of state and government of NATO member countries, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told Hungarian public service television news channel M1 that Hungary is one of the world’s safest countries, and it must therefore pay particular attention to “not losing what we have finally created for ourselves”.

The Prime Minister said that Hungary supports the US president’s assertion that European countries should channel more reasonable – in other words higher – levels of funding towards their armed forces and security needs than they do at present. In Mr. Orbán’s view this is a reasonable requirement, because the most important thing in today’s world is security, and the greatest danger is the loss of security.

He noted, however, that not every European state agrees with this. He outlined the background as follows: “In a situation like this, what does an American do? He says, ‘Well, then, you shouldn’t be spending 2 per cent, but 4 per cent’. Today we are at a stage when […] not everyone is spending even 2 per cent of their gross domestic product on security, but the American is already talking about 4 per cent.”

The Prime Minister pointed out that, compared with last year’s NATO summit – the first attended by US president Donald Trump, in which the atmosphere, Mr. Orbán observed, was “coarse” and “harsh” – at this meeting “the gathering of NATO heads of state and government, the leaders’ club, shows signs of rubbing along with one another”.

In Mr. Orbán’s opinion, today’s conflicts have been smaller than those of a year ago, differences have diminished and there is increased agreement. He therefore sees this NATO summit as an important step in the direction of NATO unity: “The leaders of the countries forming NATO’s two pillars – the North Americans on one side and us Europeans on the other – are becoming more accommodating”.

In the Prime Minister’s view, the important decisions which have been adopted demonstrate unity. Nevertheless differences remain, he indicated, one example of which is that the United States “vigorously asserted with thoroughly considered arguments” that each member should increase its military spending and channel more towards weaponry, armed forces and security.

Regarding the potential threats NATO is facing, the Prime Minister said that the threats from the East and the South are fundamentally different in nature: “the eastern one is called Russia, while the southern one is terrorism”.

Speaking about the latter, he said that Turkey is a key country, as without a stable Turkey it will be impossible to defend the continent against terrorism and migrants from the South. Therefore, he said, Hungary welcomes the fact that Ankara has managed to implement constitutional reform which could make Turkey more stable than it has ever been.

He added, however, that military conflicts – which are not the only cause of the migrant crisis, but an important factor – must be resolved. This, he said, is because peace is not only threatened by the emergence of war, but also by the disappearance of the conditions for a peaceful life; in such circumstances migrants set out, seeking other countries for themselves, and “want to settle in our country, for example”. He added that this must be prevented partly through defence of the borders and partly by cooperating to create decent living conditions in the countries concerned.