Foreign Affairs

Hungary Hails NATO Decision To “Mobilise Capabilities” Against Illegal Migration

NATO, on Hungary’s initiative, has agreed to contribute to the efforts against migration, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said after attending a two-day NATO summit in Warsaw last weekend. Hungary’s aim was to get the organisation “involved in the European efforts to stop illegal migration”, he said.

“We have managed to convince NATO to take our side … we made it clear 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.

D_MTI20160708012

Viktor Orbán also said in Warsaw that NATO would strengthen the protection of its eastern flank without harming its agreement with Russia. 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”, he said, adding that “nobody wanted to make Russia an enemy while securing eastern Europe in military terms”.

“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.

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, whose NATO membership he said was in Hungary’s basic interest.

via hungarymatters.hu and MTI photos: Gergely Botár – kormany.hu