Asked about Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bids, the prime minister’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyás told a government press conference that lawmakers first had to pass legislation concerning the commitments Hungary had made in its agreement with the European Commission. Now that those have been approved, Finland and Sweden’s NATO bids will be debated before the mid-December end of the autumn session, he said. Hungary, he added, had been working to strengthen the defence alliance for years and to reach the goal set by NATO to raise defence spending to 2% of GDP. “We’re not interested in what is or isn’t in Russia’s interest,” Gulyás said. “The question is what Hungary’s interests are, and we will make a decision accordingly.”
Meanwhile, the European Commission’s decision to withhold funding from Poland, he said, was “unfair, unlawful and politically motivated”, adding that it did not contribute to the bloc’s unity. He criticised the EC for deciding on the approval of funds for member states based on sympathy.
Gulyás also slammed the local council’s decision to remove the statue of a turul bird from the Mukachevo (Munkács) Castle in western Ukraine as “unacceptable”. If Ukraine intends to strengthen its ties with Europe, it must respect minority rights, he added.