Defense Minister: Hungary cannot be dragged into war

The defense minister said Hungary fully backed an immediate ceasefire and launching peace talks.

In a public radio interview, Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said Hungary and NATO broadly shared the position that neither could afford to get dragged into the war in Ukraine and neither provided any means that would escalate the conflict. Neither Hungary nor NATO is delivering lethal weapons to the conflict, and both are working to prevent any escalation, Minister Szalay-Bobrovniczky said.

At the same time, many NATO member states indulged in the rhetoric of war, he said. Conversely, Hungary fully backed an immediate ceasefire and launching peace talks, he said, adding that while its position was a minority one, the mood was shifting noticeably. “That view is in the minority, but the approach seems to be changing,” Minister Szalay-Bobrovniczky said. The minister said there was no viable military resolution to the conflict. He said that Ukraine had not been invited to join the alliance at the Vilnius NATO summit because the country was not ready for this and a country at war would drag the whole alliance into the war. Minister Szalay-Bobrovniczky noted that Hungary is now spending 2% of GDP on its defense and is exceeding the other NATO requirement to spend 20% of the defense budget on military developments. The armed forces, he added, were getting to the point of proving its deterrence capability while bolstering the nation’s resilience. Ordinary people, he said, increasingly understood the importance of the armed defense of the homeland and that “peace requires strength”. This means ensuring adequate defense spending and training non-commissioned officers and officers in territorial defense, he added. The minister said the Hungarian armed forces would have two foundations: a professional army comprising hi-tech-equipped professional soldiers and territorial defense regiments mainly consisting of reserve soldiers.