NATO would not be as strong without Hungary’s military, the foreign minister said at the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania on Tuesday, adding that Hungarian soldiers participating in the Baltic air policing mission also helped to ensure Hungarian security.
The ministry cited Péter Szijjártó saying that the Russian exclave in Kaliningrad was one of the most heavily militarized areas in Europe. Geographically, the Baltics are perhaps the most complicated area to protect within NATO, he added.
Szijjártó thanked Hungarian soldiers for their duty and composure, stating that their task represented the most difficult mission of the Hungarian armed forces under the current circumstances of war.
As well as bearing great responsibility for NATO and Hungarian security, their most important duty is to prevent a direct conflict between NATO and Russia, he said.
“We’d like peace to prevail, but for the time being this is not the military situation, and an increasingly severe war situation looks apparent. What’s most important is to prevent the escalation of the conflict,” he added.
“A country cannot be strong without strong defence, and that includes a strong air force within the armed forces. So we’re providing all the resources possible to guarantee the sustained strength of the Hungarian armed forces within NATO…” Szijjártó said.
“We’re proud that we Hungarians can also contribute to making NATO the strongest military alliance in the world,” he added.
“We can rightfully say that without Hungary, its army and air force, NATO would not be as strong as it is,” he said.
Hungarian soldiers, he added, may return to the Baltics in 18 months or two years’ time because it was likely that the importance of the mission would only increase in the upcoming period.
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