Hungary’s Defense Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky speaks with the media as he arrives for a meeting of EU Defense Ministers at the Prague Congress Center in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022.InternationalIndiaAfricaBUDAPEST (Sputnik) – Hungarian Defense Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky, at a meeting with counterparts from the Bucharest Nine (B9) member states, urged them to be cautious in the matter of NATO expansion.”Hungary supports the open door policy [on NATO expansion] but still calls on its partners to be cautious. All such decisions can only be made if the applicant countries fully comply with the conditions, as well as with the full NATO allied consensus,” Szalay-Bobrovniczky said as quoted by the Hungarian Defense Ministry.”The European Union is also playing an increasingly important role in the area of security and defense. Hungary is interested in an EU based on strong nation-states,” he said. The Hungarian defense minister also recalled the importance of combating illegal migration from the south and called for support to Western Balkans countries. He also recalled that “Hungary plays a significant role in strengthening the eastern wing of NATO” and allocated 2% of GDP for defense a year ahead of schedule. In mid-July, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said he had given instructions to increase the combat readiness of the Armed Forces and conduct intensive drills in different parts of the country due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the influx of migrants to the southern borders of the country. Earlier, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Budapest now needs to increase the country’s military capabilities. According to Orban, only a strong national army can guarantee the country’s security and Hungary will seriously focus on strengthening the national army in the next decade, since European countries cannot rely on the US alone for defense.WorldHungarian Foreign Minister Warns Europe Against Competing With US in Arms Supplies to Kiev6 March, 18:40 GMTSince the start of the conflict, Hungary has consistently opposed sanctions on Russian energy resources and the shipment of weapons to Ukraine. In March 2022, the Hungarian parliament issued a decree prohibiting the supply of weapons to Ukraine from the country’s territory. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto explained that Budapest was seeking to secure the territory of Transcarpathia, where ethnic Hungarians live, since the supply of weapons through its territory would become a legitimate military target for Russia. The Hungarian leadership has repeatedly stressed that Hungary stands for the early start of peace talks.
- November 27, 2023
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