Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky - Photo: Facebook

Defence Minister: NATO is still the world’s strongest defence alliance

NATO is still the world's strongest defence alliance, and it stands ready to defend itself and its members, the defence minister said after a summit of the alliance in Washington, DC.

Referring to the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky said in a statement that the organisation, after 75 years of its existence, faced mounting security challenges.

“The main aim of the summit is to strengthen transatlantic unity,” he said.

The minister said talks had centred on support for Ukraine and reinforcing collective defence, as well as cooperation between Pacific partner countries and the European Union.

Allies, he added, would strengthen their commitment to supporting Ukraine but such efforts carried the risk of prolonging the war, while the mission in Ukraine and multi-year financing mired NATO in the conflict to an ever greater extent.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky reiterated Hungary’s decision to stay out of this process, which, he added, would only lead to escalation.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, he further noted, had agreed with the incumbent and incoming NATO secretaries general that Hungary will not provide money or troops for initiatives in Ukraine, though neither would it prevent allies from doing so.

He noted that Hungary has hit its target of 2 percent of GDP defence spending and its development expenditure put it second among NATO allies.

Hungarian soldiers take part in NATO operations and measures to strengthen the alliance, he said, contributing to air policing in Kosovo, Iraq, and the Baltic countries while hosting a multinational divisional command that fits into the NATO command system and a multinational ground battle group.

Further, the defence industry, a growing part of Hungary’s economy, also played a significant role in relation to Hungary’s NATO activities, he said.

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