Orban: Balkans migration route must remain closed

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has offered Hungary’s help to Montenegro in connection with difficulties arising from handling migration.

Montenegro, by protecting its borders, also protects Hungary and the whole of the European Union, Orban said after talks with counterpart Dusko Markovic in Podgorica on Tuesday. Orban told a joint press conference that Hungary has adopted a stance of “identity protection”.

The only successful move in connection with the handling of migration has been to seal the Balkan route, he said, adding that this achievement is associated with Hungary. The Balkan route must remain sealed shut and all countries in the Balkans must be protected, he added.

In response to a question, he said Europe is committing a serious mistake by countenancing moves that can be interpreted in Africa and the Middle East as invitations. The EU is sending out ambiguous signals by saying “don’t come” while simultaneously sending an invitation. That people are drowning at sea shows that Europe’s policies are politically nonsensical and at the same time inhumane, he added.

Orban said next year’s European parliamentary elections would be a vote on migration.
Commenting on Hungary-Montenegro relations, he said the two countries have no conflicts of interest either in terms of tactics or strategy.

Montenegro has every chance of joining Europe’s economically most successful political and geographical area, which he said was central Europe. The Hungarian government views Montenegro as a central European country, he added. Orban said Montenegro has a real chance to swiftly join the European Union. Podgorica is essentially ready for membership, he said, adding that he disagreed with anyone who saw political, economic or legal obstacles to accession.

“Montenegro could be accepted as an EU member tomorrow morning or the day after tomorrow the latest, if the willingness was there,”

Orban said. Hungary will actively participate in generating this willingness, he said, adding that the EU also needs Montenegro.

If Montenegro is lucky, the European election results make the Europe’s parliament and commission more open to expansion, he said.

Markovic expressed thanks to Orban for help in border protection, adding that it was possible a metal fence may be built on Montenegro’s border at some point in the future. He said migrants were arriving in Montenegro in large numbers from Albania.

Hungary-Montenegro ties are at a high point, he said, noting that both countries are NATO members and that economic cooperation was constantly developing. Montenegro would gladly welcome Hungarian investors, he added.

He thanked Hungary for supporting Podgorica on its road to NATO integration and for helping it in its endeavours to join the European Union. “The EU is our top priority,” he said, pledging that Montenegro would continue to acquire European values and strengthen democratisation.

Orban said Hungary would gladly participate in modernising Montenegro’s economy. Whereas the whole point of an economy is to enable people’s wellbeing, a modern economy only works if it is market-based, he added.

Orban arrived in Montenegro’s capital on Monday, where he was hosted by President Milo Djukanovic. As the end of his official visit, Orban met Speaker of Parliament Ivan Brajovic.

Source and photo: MTI

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