Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán traveled to Brussels for a summit of the Heads of States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Thursday, May 25, highlighting the importance of the alliance’s expansion to the Balkans in consolidating peace and stability in the region.

Speaking at a press conference before the meeting, Prime Minister Orbán confirmed Hungary’s commitment to raising defense expenditure to two per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). “We shall reach two per cent more or less by 2024,” said Orbán. The Prime Minister also urged fellow NATO members to increase military spending and take their commitment to the alliance seriously by supplying a similar timetable for the attainment of the two percent defense spending target.

In 2014, NATO member states agreed to raise military expenditures to a minimum of two percent of GDP. In 2016, however, only five countries had reached such a level of defense expenditures: the United States, Britain, Poland, Greece, and Estonia.

On the topic of NATO expansion, Prime Minister Orbán added that “the Balkans is a complicated place, and there are tensions,” Prime Minister Orbán stated at a press conference, adding that during the meeting he would argue in favor of enlargement.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)