At an event marking Armed Forces Day, in Washington, DC, Szabolcs Takács, Hungary’s ambassador to the United States, said the Hungarian government’s basic aim is to protect Hungary and its citizens, which also involves protecting NATO’s eastern flank which is especially important in light of the war in Ukraine.
Ambassador Takács said on Monday that Hungary’s approach was also determined by the fact that a large number of ethnic Hungarians were fighting in the Ukrainian army. Hungary’s military attaché in Washington, László Szegő, said in front of the representatives of partner countries’ armed forces serving in Washington that Hungary fully supported NATO’s policies in Ukraine and continued to fulfil all obligations resulting from its membership. NATO is a cornerstone for collective defence, and by improving its own defence capabilities, Hungary is also contributing to NATO’s joint defence system, he said. Hungary will fulfil the NATO requirement to allocate 2% of GDP for defence spending this year, he said. Another NATO requirement to spend at least 20% of the defence allocation on modernizing the army has been met for a long time, he added. Szegő said that the US had been a steady supporter of Hungary’s defence capabilities and he expressed thanks to the Ohio National Guard for its 30-year cooperation and help to improve Hungary’s military capabilities. In the current uncertain and constantly changing defence environment, the Hungarian government and the Hungarian army highly appreciate the cooperation with the US, he said. Daniel Bischof, Director for Eastern Europe at the US Department of State, said that the US and Hungary were partners and allies. The US greatly appreciates the close partnership defence cooperation involved and is thankful for the contribution of Hungary’s defence forces to establishing joint security. He added that he was pleased to hear the Hungarian ambassador’s comments on protecting NATO’s eastern flank.