“For the first time in a long period, Hungary now has a national strategy within an alliance but with full sovereignty,” Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said in an interview published by the weekly Mandiner on Thursday.
On future tasks, the minister said “peace requires power”, adding that next year’s budget would provide “sufficient guarantees” for his portfolio through the new defence fund. He said the country’s defence spending would reach 2 percent of GDP in 2023, a ratio which would be maintained in years to come.
Szalay-Bobrovniczky said the government had been “prudent” to start the military reform years ago, which, in light of the war in Ukraine, was a “considerable advantage” on competitors in the region. Further developments will focus on staffing and their remuneration, he added.
The minister also confirmed that Hungary would maintain its earlier commitments to NATO. He warned, however, that being a member of that alliance “is not enough in itself”. It is crucial that Hungary has a “voluntary, well-trained and equipped, large national military” which is “confident, able and respectable”.
Concerning the war in Ukraine the minister said “this is not Hungary’s war and we will stay out”. Hungary supports peace and will work to ensure that “the bloodshed in Ukraine is at last stops and talks start”.
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