Budapest, August 17 (MTI) – A ceremony was held at the military air base outside Kecskemet on Monday in honour of the Hungarian contingent – four Gripen fighters and over 100 troops – that will join NATO’s mission in the Baltic countries on September 24.
Defence Minister Csaba Hende said at the ceremony that Hungary, a NATO member, is committed to developing its military capabilities so that it can contribute to the organisation’s common defence.
“The Baltic air space has become the most problematic in Europe and perhaps within NATO as a whole,” the minister said, referring to the international tension generated by the Ukrainian crisis.
The Hungarian government considers it “highly important to fulfil obligations under Articles 4 and 5 of the Washington Treaty in times of the revival of great-power policies triggered by the Ukrainian crisis,” he said.
The minister noted that Hungary had offered to participate in the joint defence of NATO’s air space in the 2012 summit in Chicago.
Based in Siauliai in Lithuania, the Hungarian contingent will serve in the Baltic air space for four months.
The ceremony was attended by US Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell.
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