Hungary will meet its commitment to NATO this year, one year before the deadline, of boosting its defence spending to two percent of GDP, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said on Wednesday in Brussels after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
Hungary’s spending will even exceed 2 percent of its GDP, according to a ministry statement quoting Szijjarto as saying at a press conference.
Hungary is among nine NATO members meeting the 2 percent requirement this year, he added, dismissing “false accusations and doubts” regarding Hungary’s “commitment, reliability, and loyalty” to the alliance.
Also, since 2019 Hungary has spent at least 20 percent of its defence budget on developments, he said, adding that 48 percent of spending last year was on capacity-building, putting Hungary in first place among the alliance’s 31 member states in this regard. Much of the spending is linked to big domestic defence industry investments, the minister said.
Regarding preparations for NATO’s summer summit in Vilnius, Szijjarto insisted that challenges facing Europe from the south connected with migration pressure must be addressed there, and he noted the heightened opportunity for terrorist infiltration that mass migration offered.
Referring to the war in Ukraine, he said the war had highlighted how easily food supply could be disrupted around the world, leading to acts of violence and the spread of extremist ideologies.
Alongside Turkish and several other counterparts, mainly from southern Europe, they agreed that at the next summit NATO should deal with mounting terrorist threats and security challenges deriving from the south, Szijjarto said.
He underlined that NATO is not a party to the war in Ukraine, and this principle should continue to be respected. Everything should be done to prevent any possible direct NATO-Russia confrontation, he added.