Hungary takes her share of the collective tasks in accordance with its commitments, told the Ministry of Defence to Hungarian news agency MTI after the Meetings of NATO Ministers of Defence in Brussels.

Since the Vilnius NATO Summit at the level of heads of state and government in July, this has been the first time that ministers of defence of the Alliance gathered to discuss current issues. At the discussions, Hungary was represented by MoD State Secretary for Defence Strategy and Human Resources. The Brussels meetings focused on the implementation of the tasks of collective deterrence and defence, the operationalization of NATO’s new collective defence posture, as well as on NATO’s ongoing missions and operations. Two initiatives were signed in the margins of the NATO Defence Ministers’ Meetings: Germany and the United Kingdom joined the NATO Flight Training Europe (NFTE) High Visibility Project, and 13 Allies and Sweden as invitee signed an agreement of cooperation on cross-border Airspace Management (AER).

Hungary takes her share of collective tasks, which is exemplified by the Hungary-led multinational NATO enhanced Vigilance Activity Battle Group (NATO eVA BG HUN) responding to the challenges in the zone of the eastern flank, and also by the Székesfehérvár-based Headquarters Multinational Division Centre (HQ MND-C), which Hungary co-established with Croatia and Slovakia.

In the presence of the European Union’s representative, the Allies addressed the situation of operations under way in Iraq and the Balkans, and discussed the possibilities for cooperating with the EU to increase regional stability. With respect to this engagement, Hungary drew attention to the fact that within the frameworks of international alliance systems, the Hungarian participation is realized at the highest levels in the region of the Western Balkans. Recently, a Hungarian soldier served as commander of KFOR, NATO’s largest land operation in Kosovo, and, starting from January 2024, another Hungarian soldier, Major General Dr. László Sticz will be appointed commander of the EUFOR Althea mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Hungary consequently represents the keeping of challenges from the south on the agenda in NATO. The situation in the southern region is fragile, as is shown by the tensions running high in Kosovo in the recent period, and therefore, we consider it very important to maintain NATO’s and the EU’s presence in the region, in the interest of preserving our security.

The agenda was extended with an overview of the security situation in Israel in the context of the terrorist attacks against the country, which also threaten the security of the wider region. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant briefed the allied ministers through a video conference line on the situation. During the conference, Hungary expressed solidarity with Israel and assured the country of its support.

The NATO-Ukraine Council at defence ministerial level took place for the first time in the framework of the Meetings of NATO Ministers of Defence. Hungary reaffirmed that NATO must stay out of the war in Ukraine, and shared its concerns over the rights of ethnic minorities in the country. It also stated that cooperation must continue to be based on shared values and collective decisions.

(honvé, NATO)