Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky - Photo: Facebook

Defence Minister: Hungary won’t support sending European troops or mandatory conscription

Hungary does not support either the deployment of European troops to the war in Ukraine or European mandatory conscription, the defence minister said in Brussels on Tuesday.

In a statement sent to MTI after a meeting with his European Union counterparts, Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky said that in the final stretch of the European parliamentary election campaign, certain member states were putting forward “risky proposals that could easily lead to an aggravation of the war”.

He said member states were increasingly coming forward with the “chilling idea” of sending soldiers from European member states to Ukraine. Certain politicians, he added, were already talking about mandatory conscription at the European level. He said this would primarily concern the youth of the member states closest to Ukraine, such as Hungarians, adding that this was unacceptable to Hungary.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky said the main topic of Tuesday’s meeting was the EU’s military support for Ukraine. He said the majority of member states wanted to even intensify the use of military equipment, and some were increasingly open about the possibility of even sending troops to Ukraine as part of the bloc’s training mission.

“The proposal that EU member states should shoot down Russian missiles above Ukraine is also shocking,” the minister said, warning that raising this possibility would lead straight to a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO member states.

He said such proposals failed to take into consideration that sending weapons and troops and the possibility of any intervention could only lead to a protraction of the war. Only a ceasefire and peace talks could end the conflict, he added. Hungary, he said, refused to compromise on its stance that this was the only way to bring an end to the fighting.

The defence minister said the Hungarian government refused to back any steps that would lead to an escalation or prolongation of the war, endanger the security of Hungarians or harm Hungarian interests.

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