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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s doorstep statement ahead of the NATO summit

Good morning! I’ve been placed here because there’s such high discipline.

What do you expect from this summit from a Hungarian perspective? Do you agree that this is a turning point in NATO’s history and that it’s the beginning of a new chapter?

Only at the end of the meeting will we be able to say whether it will become a turning point. We’re making an attempt at that by adopting a strategy document: a strategy for 2030. According to this document – and Hungary fully agrees with it – the decade ahead will be an age of pandemics and mass migration, and we must prepare the member countries and NATO to meet these challenges. Indeed a key point in this strategy is strengthening national resilience, and that’s what we’ll be talking about – and what I think we’ll agree on. Hungary, by the way, is very active in this area – whether it’s in the fight against pandemics or the fight against migration. We have something to say, and we have something to contribute to the common cause.

Hungary is doing very well in meeting the Wales summit commitment, the 2 per cent defence budget, but not everyone is doing so well. Do you expect any tension on this issue?

We’ll be in a good position if we deliver on our commitments. It would be better if every year Hungary was already able to spend 2 per cent of its gross domestic product on its own security, but we’re not there yet – we’ll reach that in 2023–24 at the latest. But there are some who are behind us, so they’re worse off than we are. People talk less about it, but there’s another commonly agreed requirement that at least 20 per cent of defence spending should come from new technologies, from defence industry development. Hungary is already achieving this. So we’ve met one of our commitments, we’ll meet the other in 2023–24, and then we’ll be in the front rank. In the part of the world where we live one cannot exist without an army: without an army there’s no security, and Hungarian families and the Hungarian nation will always need a military capacity, a deployable military force. Good progress is being made on building this. We’ve neglected this for twenty or thirty years, but now, in this respect too, I feel that we’re finally putting Hungary back on the map.

NATO is entering a new cold war with China. What does Hungary think about that?

We oppose any kind of cold war, you know. I am 58, I spent 26 years of my life in a cold war. Believe me, it’s bad, so don’t do that.