Katalin Novák: NATO must be unified and become stronger, but enlargement issues should be discussed
NATO must be unified and become stronger, but issues related to its enlargement should be discussed – declared President of Hungary Katalin Novák on One on One, a programme on the English language channel TRT World of Turkish Sate Television. The programme was broadcast late on Monday evening.
In the first part of the interview, Katalin Novák was asked about the NATO accession of Finland and Sweden. The President stressed that "in these difficult times we must remain united and show our strength".
NATO is an important alliance that must be strengthened – she underlined.
On the enlargement of NATO, the president stressed: these decisions must be debated, assessing the advantages and disadvantages.
After that in the last week of March, both Hungary and Türkiye consented to Finland’s accession to NATO Katalin Novák pointed out: there is a "tough debate" in the Hungarian Parliament about Sweden's accession to NATO, because of unacceptable statements made previously by senior Swedish officials about Hungary.
These were unacceptable and biased statements, that even called Hungarian democracy into question – she argued.
Katalin Novák concluded: as President of Hungary, it is her personal opinion that in this highly difficult situation more reasons speak in favour of Sweden’s NATO accession than against it. In this situation, she is in favour of Sweden joining NATO because it will make NATO stronger," she said.
She went on to add: nevertheless, she understands the concerns of Hungarian MPs and Türkiye on this issue, and recalled that the Swedish Parliament itself has only in recent weeks, after a long debate, decided to join NATO.
Speaking about the European energy crisis in the interview, Katalin Novák also said that Türkiye is especially important to Hungary, also because of the gas supplies arriving from Azerbaijan. At the same time, the President of Hungary called Ankara a very reliable partner in transmitting Russian gas through the Turkish Stream Pipeline.
Regarding Hungary’s dependence on Russian energy, President Novák emphasized that this is also due to Hungary’s geographical position and cannot be changed overnight. However, we are working hard to reduce it – she said.
During the discussion, Katalin Novák also expressed the deepest condolences of the Hungarian people and the entire Hungarian nation for the tragic earthquakes in Southern Türkiye on 6 February.