Speaking to reporters after inspecting Hungary’s border fence with Peter Pellegrini, his Slovak counterpart, Orbán said the fence was also protecting Slovakia’s border.
Orbán said the reason he had invited Pellegrini to inspect the border was that there had been a sharp rise in the number of illegal border crossings recently. More than 5,000 migrants have attempted to enter Hungary illegally so far this year, he said, adding that a lot of organised migrant groups were also coming to the border. Orbán said there were some 100,000 migrants currently on their way to Europe via the Balkan route and if Hungary let them, they would enter the country and even reach Slovakia. Orbán expressed his gratitude to the Slovak government for the assistance it has provided to Hungary with its border protection efforts. Orbán said he and Pellegrini had strengthened their agreement under which Slovakia will be prepared to assist Hungary again if migration pressure were to rise on its border.
Pellegrini stressed the importance of protecting the Hungarian-Serbian border, noting that it was also the southern border of the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone. He said Slovakia, too, would be in trouble if the border were to be breached by migrants. Slovakia is handling the protection of its eastern border with Ukraine but needs Hungary’s help regarding its southern border, he said. Pellegrini said Slovakia was prepared to keep assisting Hungary with its border protection efforts with a view to keeping migrants at bay.