Budapest, June 30 (MTI) – Ukraine is involved in what will probably become a protracted conflict, to which both Hungary and NATO should give a response, Hungarian Defence Minister Csaba Hende said today.
“The Ukrainian crisis has radically changed Europe’s security environment. Both Hungary, including its armed forces, and NATO should prepare for a protracted conflict,” the minister told the annual meeting of military, defence and air attaches in Budapest.
NATO’s September summit, to be held in Wales, should assess the strategic consequences of the crisis and draw appropriate conclusions, he said.
Hende said NATO should adopt a uniform position on and make a coordinated approach to Russia, and deploy forces and military technology to member states along its eastern boundary.
The Ukrainian crisis has once again shed light on the fact that the discrepancy between US and European defence budgets is untenable, the minister said.
Any delay in increasing European defence spending would have negative long-term impacts on transatlantic relations, he said.
“Hungary fully supports the idea of increasing defence spending in the years to come,” Hende said.
In 2012, despite the impacts of the economic crisis, the Hungarian government made a commitment not to reduce the country’s defence budget between 2013 and 2015, and increase it by at least 0.1 percentage point of GDP from 2016, to reach an annual 1.4 percent by 2022.
Photo: MTI – Lajos Soos