Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto after NATO summit: Direct confrontation between NATO, Russia must be avoided

A direct confrontation between NATO and Russia must be avoided at all costs, especially since the war in Ukraine is threatening to be a protracted one, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in Madrid on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

A protracted war is likely to result in “the senseless death of thousands, lingering wartime inflation deepening into a global economic crisis, and energy security taking a hit.” So brokering peace is a top priority, he said.

Strategic communication channels must remain open between NATO and Russia to avoid direct conflict and “unintentional escalation”, he said.

The summit is scheduled to adopt a new strategic concept later on Wednesday, “and it is high time as the security environment has changed a lot since 2010,” Szijjarto said.

The document promotes “all-round defence”, focusing on threats from both the East and the South. This way, NATO will take part in the fight against terrorism and the resulting migration waves, he said.

The member states are also expected to approve a comprehensive support package for Ukraine, mainly consisting of training, education, post-war reconstruction, cyber defence and the delivery of bulletproof vests, he said.

“The package also ensures that NATO will continue to refrain from delivering lethal aid to Ukraine. Its fundamental approach makes it possible to avoid direct confrontation between the alliance and Russia,” he said.

Szijjarto also welcomed the conclusion of talks between Turkey, Sweden and Finland, paving the way to their accession to NATO, he said.

“Hungary is contributing to NATO remaining the most successful defence alliance of all time,” he said. Hungary will raise defence spending to 2 percent of GDP in 2023, a year earlier than its original commitment, he said.

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