Illustration – Photo: Facebook (Hungarian Defence Forces)

Mi Hazank calls on government to bring troops home from Kosovo

The radical opposition Mi Hazank party has called on the government to bring Hungary's soldiers home from Kosovo and make public the number of troops serving abroad along with the costs of the missions.

Mi Hazank lawmaker Elod Novak told a perss conference on Wednesday that “while the United States incites tensions against pro-Russia Serbs and arms Kosovo Albanians”, the injured Hungarian troops had been “being used as shields by the US” in Monday’s clashes between NATO peacekeepers and protesters in Kosovo.

Since Montenegro, a country with a majority Serb population, could potentially veto joint NATO defence in the event of a potential attack by the Serbian army, it is clear that there is no military solution to the situation, Novak said after a closed-door meeting of parliament’s defence and law enforcement committee. Political pressure is needed to resolve the situation in Kosovo, he added.

Hungary’s obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty only require it to help defend a member state that is attacked, but because of the “overzealousness” of the governments that have been in power so far, Hungary has been involved in several foreign invasions, including the “abject failure that was Afghanistan”, the lawmaker said. This, rather than the defence of the homeland, has also been the main consideration when it comes to military developments, he added.

“There are no shared interests in defence, only the national interest,” Novak said, calling for Hungary’s national interests to be prioritised.

Novak said his party wanted to use the money spent on foreign missions to finance the development of a military capable of defending the country as well as “more serious” exercises at home.

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