We live in an age of danger, so it is important that neighboring countries maintain their relations with each other: With Austria, we are traditionally good neighbors, and our cooperation is close in almost all areas, including military, the Hungarian defense minister stressed at a joint press conference with the Austrian defense minister, Klaudia Tanner, in Budapest.
During the meeting, the situation in Ukraine was also discussed. Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky underlined that Hungary’s position is well known:
We are on the side of peace, we do not send weapons to the conflict, and in this respect we are on a common platform, as neutral Austria does not send weapons to war either.
However, both Austria and Hungary are accepting refugees, and both countries are sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The politician highlighted that in their conversation they discussed, among other things, the situation in the Western Balkans. Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky stated that the stability of these countries is very important, as recent history shows that special attention must be paid to the people in this region. He said that the so-called Balkan route was the most affected by illegal migration, which is why it was agreed that countries must focus on migration flows further south.
The minister stressed that Austria, as a neutral country, also plays an important role in the region’s security, as in the KFOR Kosovo mission, which was led by a Hungarian commander last year, and in the EUFOR Althea mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where a Hungarian general will take command next year and where Hungarian participation is also significant.
The Austrian defense minister said at the press conference that the cooperation between the two countries is excellent, including involvement in seven shared missions abroad.
Klaudia Tanner pointed out that the threat posed by the war in Ukraine is not only related to conventional warfare, the interplay of hybrid threats must also be taken into account. She stressed that the impact of migration was felt not only in Austria, but also in Hungary, and that it was necessary to cooperate with other neighboring countries to contain migration. One solution, she said, is to strengthen the Western Balkans and help these countries integrate into the European Union.
Klaudia Tanner believes that the EU must be more assertive in its cooperation with NATO, because if there is no unity, we open the door to other threats.
Via mti.hu, Featured image: Tibor Illyés/MTI