Hungary’s intelligence services carry special responsibility in the current situation, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday, arguing that it was their job to stave off attempts to undermine Hungary’s security or drag the country into the conflict.
The government expects the intelligence agencies to fulfil those responsibilities and fend off attempts against the country, Szijjártó said at the inauguration of a new wing of the headquarters of the Information Office (IH), Hungary’s civilian intelligence agency.
“The developments undertaken in recent years and the level of preparedness of intelligence personnel make us hopeful that the Hungarian intelligence community is capable of fulfilling these very important responsibilities,”
Because of Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine, the task of guaranteeing Hungary’s security now takes priority “over every goal, issue and task”, he said. This, Szijjártó said, was a prerequisite for preserving Hungary’s freedom and sovereignty.
Hungary’s government has significantly strengthened its intelligence services,
their resources and institutional system over the past four years, the minister said, adding that the state had the necessary funds available for further upgrades. Those, he said would include the creation of an IH crisis management centre and the establishment of an intelligence academy.
Szijjártó noted that Hungarian foreign policy, foreign trade strategy and intelligence were now using “a uniform system of goals and toolkit”. He said that the war in Ukraine meant that the global status quo had “come undone for the second time in two years now” and the world could only guess as to what kind of new order would take shape in the coming period.
“The fact that Hungary was successful in its health protection measures, and the fact that 2021 was the most successful year in Hungary’s economic history, speak to the success of Hungary’s intelligence work,”
the minister said, arguing that the government had to rely on precise information when making its decisions.