Defense Minister: Hungary continues to reject delivering weapons to Ukraine

The defense minister said Hungary is committed to promoting an immediate ceasefire and peace talks.

Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said Hungary continues to reject delivering weapons to Ukraine and doesn’t support further financial support either.

In a statement on the sidelines of a meeting of EU defense ministers, Minister Szalay-Bobrovniczky lamented that member states had not changed their stance on the issue, and continue to discuss weapons deliveries to Ukraine. Hungary is committed to promoting an immediate ceasefire and peace talks, he said. The Hungarian government does not support Ukraine’s continued funding “as they could barely be convinced to remove one of the largest Hungarian banks from their blacklist.” The ministers also discussed the situation in the Sahel, an issue with a direct bearing on Hungary’s security, he said. Parliament adopted a package of aid last week, which includes military aid in the region, he said. Another important region is the Western Balkans, one of the most important routes of migration into Europe, he said. Its stability is also directly connected to that of Hungary, he added. Minister Szalay-Bobrovniczky also hailed that Hungary has been tapped to take over command of the EU’s military mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a “great step forward”. “Peace requires strength. We will continue to work,” he said.

On another note, the minister said in Hajdúhadház on Monday that the Adaptive Hussars 23 international military exercise involves the entirety of the Hungarian Armed Forces. The military exercise is the largest in Hungary in the last 30 years, Szalay-Bobrovniczky told a press conference before inspecting the exercise, calling it a test for the Hungarian Armed Forces, cooperation with allies and Hungarian public administration. “This test is going very well so far, but we, of course, have to wait till the end before drawing the final conclusions,” the minister said. The objective of the exercise is to test the military’s readiness for and response to an imagined situation threatening Hungary’s security, the minister said. It also tests the capabilities of civilian public administration when it comes to troop movements and logistics, he added. Szalay-Bobrovniczky emphasised the importance of testing the ability to cooperate with allies, noting that several NATO forces were also taking part in the exercise. He noted that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had also inspected certain elements of the exercise on Monday, namely a bridge-building exercise at Tiszaroff and a jump exercise of Italian and Hungarian paratroopers in Nyíregyháza. Adaptive Hussars 23 involves around 5,000 Hungarian troops, including 500 reservists, he said. Armed Forces Commander Gábor Böröndi said the exercise involved land, air and maritime forces. The air defense system has been activated, and the air and ground forces are moving, he said. “This is a test of the preparations we’ve made over the past years,” he added.