The war between Russia and Ukraine has made guaranteeing Hungary’s security the government’s number one goal, Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said in a talk he gave at Budapest’s Mathias Corvinus Collegium on Monday.
Though the government has made it clear that “this is not our war” and that “Hungary will not shed blood for foreign interests, we must stand on the side of the state that has been attacked, meaning Ukraine”, the minister said.
Such a situation calls for speeding up military developments, which Hungary can do thanks to the fact that for the first time in centuries it is in a position to pursue sovereign, nationally minded policies, Szalay-Bobrovniczky added.
The minister said Hungary was taking the strongest stance in Europe in favour of peace and was the most opposed to further escalation.
At the same time, Hungary makes effective contributions to increasing NATO’s defence capabilities, he added.
Like in other members of the alliance’s eastern flank, a battalion battlegroup has been set up in Hungary made up of mostly US troops, he noted. A multinational control centre has also been set up, and Hungary will again patrol the Baltic airspace in 2025, he added.
Also, by 2023, Hungary will increase spending on military developments to 2 percent of GDP, with 48 percent of the resources going towards the development of defence technology, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said.
Concerning last week’s NATO summit in Madrid, the minister welcomed that at Hungary’s initiative NATO had named migration and terrorism among the biggest threats to the alliance alongside Russia. Member states also approved bolstering the eastern flank and decided to invite Finland and Sweden into the alliance, he noted.
Szalay-Bobrovniczky added, however, that
Hungary disagreed with the decision to assign similar threat levels to Russia and China.