Budapest, February 14 (MTI) – President János Áder addressed an annual meeting of Hungary’s military chiefs on Tuesday and highlighted the rapidly changing nature of security challenges facing the world and Hungary.
“At the end of the twentieth century — especially after joining NATO — we justifiably believed that we had reached a level of security that meant that the main task and responsibility of Hungarian soldiers was preparation and readiness, but in the past two years the world has very much changed,” the president said. “Hungarian soldiers at home and beyond the border must carry out defence duties constantly and daily, and nothing less than Hungary’s sovereignty, self-determination and security is at stake.”
Defence Minister István Simicskó, addressing the same event, said Hungary’s goal was to become one of the region’s strongest military powers by 2026. Given the country’s recent economic progress, Hungary has a chance to develop its military unlike at any other time in the last 25 years, the minister said.
Simicskó said Hungary is preparing to launch one of the most comprehensive military development programmes of the past quarter-century, which he said would enable its military to meet the security challenges both present and future.
The programme, dubbed Zrínyi 2026, includes upgrading the military’s airplanes and helicopters and reorganising the volunteer reserves system. Simicskó said the ministry aims to have volunteer reservist units in all of the country’s 197 districts.