Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky (m) - Photo: Facebook

Defence Minister: Hungary committed to boosting European defence capability

Hungary is committed to boosting European defence capabilities, Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky said in Berlin late on Tuesday, after talks with German counterpart Boris Pistorius.

The EU “must become a credible defence player”, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said, according to a ministry statement. Hungary is committed to supporting those capabilities, he added.

The ministers discussed defence priorities of the coming six months, when Hungary will take over the EU’s rotating presidency. In times of war defence, security and boosting defence capabilities must be an important element of the presidency, he said.

Hungary sees strengthening European defence industry as a priority, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said. The government started military development in Hungary in 2016, a project the EU started championing just recently, he said.

At the same time, Hungary’s security “does not start at the country’s borders”, and so the presidency will prioritise the integration of the Western Balkans and boosting the Sahel “as a way to combat illegal migration and terrorism”, the minister said.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky and Pistorius also discussed support for Ukraine. Szalay-Bobrovniczky said Hungary’s stance was unchanged, adding that only an immediate ceasefire and peace talks could bring an end to the war.

“Hungary’s pro-peace government was further strengthened at the June 9 elections, so it continues to reject [moves] threatening escalation, and we won’t contribute to NATO’s coordination mission with money, weapons or troops, and won’t support similar efforts by the EU either,” he said.

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