Following the 2014 NATO Summit, Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán briefed the Hungarian press.[1] In his speech, the PM asserted, that the decisions made at the summit increased the security of Hungary by - as he put it – “translating the – insofar abstract – NATO guarantees in the popular language”.

Further, he briefly mentioned the other decisions made at the meeting, such as increasing the defence spending to at least 2% of GDP (of which at least 20% should be devoted to purchasing major new equipment), increasing Alliance activity in the East and providing a continued, emphatic presence for Alliance forces in that sector, creating rapidly deployable joint forces, increasing the capability to successfully fighting “hybrid wars” (i.e. a mix of military and paramilitary, overt and covert threats) and increasing the NATO BMD capabilities[2].

Speaking about the funding issue, PM Orbán promised to speed-up the process of attaining the desired 2% level, cautioning however, that only Parliament can decide on this issue.

Before in the end rejecting Russian reports on Hungarian T-72 MBT’s being delivered to the Ukraine, the PM reiterated some opinions he expressed in a radio interview on August 15[3] and again on August 30, at the European Council’s extraordinary meeting[4]. He said that the EU-sanctions are counter-productive, causing more harm to the East European countries than to Russia, while pointing out that in his opinion only continued negotiations could bring fruit.

It is worth mentioning, that a reading of the Final Statement would seem to indicate that Mr. Orbán is quite alone in this view. Paragraph 16 to 24[5] (q.v.) contain the strongest language, speaking about “Russia’s illegal and illegitimate ‘annexation’ of Crimea”, „a concerted campaign of violence by Russia and Russian-backed separatists aimed at destabilising Ukraine as a sovereign state”, etc. Particularly paragraph 19 contradicts entirely the Hungarian PM’s position: „While Russia continues to intervene militarily, arm separatists, and foment instability in Ukraine, we support the sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU), the G7, and others, which are an essential part of the overall international effort to address the destabilizing behaviour of Russia, bring it to de­escalate, and arrive at a political solution to the crisis created by its actions (emphasis added – LAM). Amongst these are measures taken by Allies including Canada, Norway and the United States, as well as the EU decisions to limit access to capital markets for Russian state-owned financial institutions, restrict trade in arms, establish restrictions for export of dual use goods for military end uses, curtail Russian access to sensitive defence and energy sector technologies, and other measures.”

Reading this, one can only speculate about how such a publicly expressed – and twice reiterated! – position will affect Hungary’s (and the ruling FIDESZ’s) standing with their NATO and EU allies. Add to this Mr. Orbán’s commitment to Russian cooperation in building a new nuclear reactor and his policy of “Eastern Opening” and there do seem to appear some rather hefty question marks. Perhaps the new EU-commissioners’ list will give us a hint about how the other Euro-Atlantic countries see this.

[1]“A NATO-csúcs döntései jelentősen növelik Magyarország biztonságát” (The NATO-Summit decisions significantly increase Hungary’s security) – MTI (Hungarian Telegraphic Agency) report, at

[2] Wales Summit Declaration - Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Wales – NATO communiqué, at

[3]Sanctions are causing more damage for Hungary than Russia – Prime Minister’s Office’s communiqué, at the Internet address

[4]“Csak a tárgyalásos rendezés vezethet eredményre” (Only negotiations could lead to result) – MTI (Hungarian Telegraphic Agency) report, at

[5]Wales Summit Declaration - Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Wales – NATO communiqué, at


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