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NATO force deployment in Eastern Europe

September 8th, 2014

Following NATO’s decision to set up rapid response force bases in Eastern Europe, left-wing commentators believe that the Orbán government will have to join the West and stand up to Russia.

Commenting on NATO’s decision on Friday to create rapid response force headquarters in eastern Europe, PM Orbán said the resolution serves the interests of Hungary. “Hungary’s security can only be secured within NATO,” PM Orbán said and added that the government will increase military spending at a higher rate than originally scheduled.

NATO has closed ranks, László Szőcs writes in Népszabadság. The left-wing columnist remarks that in a sophisticated diplomatic manoeuvre, the Atlantic Alliance wants to be present with its forces in eastern Europe without violating previous agreements with Moscow in which NATO promised not to establish permanent bases in the region. Szőcs considers the NATO decision as an important milestone in the geopolitical struggle against Russia. In light of the government’s criticism of sanctions against Russia and its conciliatory approach towards Moscow (see BudaPost August 25), Szőcs finds it surprising that the government has welcomed the tough and straightforward decision by NATO.

In Népszava, Tamás Mészáros contends that the main message of US President Obama’s speech in Tallinn and the NATO resolution is that the US and NATO are determined to protect eastern Europe from Russia. The left-wing commentator remarks that as a member of NATO, Hungary does not have to fear Russian aggression. After Friday’s NATO resolution, the Hungarian government should clearly set pro-Western aims, Mészáros recommends.

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