Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky - Photo: MTI

Defence minister: security first during wartime

The security of the country and of the Hungarian people is "a priority above all others" in wartime, the defence minister said in a video message posted on Facebook on Saturday.

Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky said he had been tasked, as defence minister, with ensuring the security of the Hungarian people, stepping up the country’s defence capability and strengthening the Hungarian armed forces. “The government is providing all material support to achieve those endeavours,” he added.

He noted that 842 billion forints (EUR 2.3bn) had been earmarked for the Defence Fund in this year’s budget and 1,310 billion forints would be allocated for the fund in next year’s budget. Defence capabilities are on the increase, new weapons systems are arriving and being put into commission, and soldiers are being trained to use them, he added.

Hungary’s defence spending is set to exceed Hungary’s NATO commitment of 2 percent of GDP next year as well, he said.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky expressed hope for a ceasefire and the start of peace talks as soon as possible, but also said that “peace requires strength”.

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