Multiple Hungarian media outlets reported that Hungary’s defence minister sacked hundreds of high-ranking military officers. The people concerned have two months to leave and will get 70 percent of their current salaries as a pension-like allowance even if they continue to work. The minister says the move served the rejuvenation and modernisation of the army. The opposition believes the government fired pro-NATO officers.
The ministry of defence began to sack hundreds of high-ranking military officers, including generals and colonels. The decision follows a government decree allowing officers to retire after 25 years in service. It seems, in most cases, the minister and the ministry decide instead of the officers.
The ministry says this move served the aim to modernise the army and pave the way to the rise of a new officer generation. Media reports about more than a hundred generals, colonels and other high-ranking officers sent away. Meanwhile, the former defence secretary and the Democratic Coalition’s MP, Ágnes Vadai, counted around 170 officers on Thursday. She added the officers sent away were pro-NATO. Based on information she acquired from the ministry, the final number can reach one thousand, telex.hu wrote. Political loyalty will be the deciding factor in the Hungarian Defence Forces, she highlighted. The ministry did not answer the questions of Telex.
Hungary and Serbia agree that peace in Ukraine is a priority, and that small and mid-size countries are especially vulnerable to the consequences of the war, Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said after meeting Milos Vucevic, his Serbian counterpart, in Belgrade on Friday. The ministers discussed cooperation opportunities between the countries and the ministries.
Hungary has consistently called for a ceasefire and for peace since the war started, Szalay-Bobrovniczky stressed after the talks. At the same time, this is the first time in the history of both countries that they had to react to changing security situations from the east and the south simultaneously, he said. Serbia is “the leading country of the Western Balkans”, and the region faces ongoing security threats, Szalay-Bobrovniczky underlined. Tensions have escalated between Serbia and Kosovo lately, he noted. Hungary supports Serbia’s EU accession because it would aid the stability of the region, he said.
Hungary has sent troops to the region to improve stability, the defence minister said. “Hungary has significant troops in NATO’s mission in Kosovo, and headed the force’s command in the past year,” he explained. The commander’s work “in a very precarious time and place” was praised by the Serbian, Kosovan and international communities, Szalay-Bobrovniczky added. Hungarian troops are also involved in the EU’s mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a Hungarian commander will take over leadership there next year, he added. The ministers discussed the achievements of Hungarian-Serbian defence cooperation as well as future possibilities in the defence industry, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said.
Source: telex.hu, MTI