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Hungary is a Reliable and Recognized NATO Ally

Text: defence.hu | Photo: Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky’s Facebook page, Boglárka Bodnár / MTI |  15:52 March 13, 2024

Hungary’s NATO membership means a “different quality” for Hungarian security – underlined the defence minister in Tata on Tuesday in his speech held to mark the 25th anniversary of Hungary’s accession to NATO and the 75th anniversary of the establishment of NATO.

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Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky recalled that Hungary joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the largest and most successful defence alliance in the world, in 1999. He added that the security of the Hungarian people and their values is guaranteed by the Hungarian Defence Forces and NATO.

The minister pointed out that many things have happened during the past 25 years, but it can be said mainly because of the past two years that NATO is working. The organization means such a truly deterring force that any opponent is withheld by its actions, which is really important to Hungary – he said.

Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky declared that Hungary is a reliable and recognized member of NATO. That is because the nation and the government do everything so that Hungary “puts in financial and military capabilities, instead of taking them out” – he said.

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The past 25 years were mainly about this: the armed forces were transformed, its equipment and capabilities were changed and modernized and old and outdated items were exchanged with 21st-century, mostly digital and NATO-compatible systems. The minister said that Hungary, meeting the ally’s expectation, turned two percent of its GDP into the defence budget. It spent more than 20 percent of this money on armed forces development, exceeding NATO expectations – he said.

He also mentioned that Hungary is exceptionally active in international cooperations and its mission activities are also significant: participates in the largest land peacekeeping mission as a KFOR member and defends the airspace of the Baltic states and Slovenia and temporarily, Slovakia.

Before the ceremony, the Hungarian-led NATO bond – including Italian and Croatian soldiers – held a combat vehicle demonstration and live firing at the Szomód shooting range. The demonstration involved the state-of-the-art combat vehicles of the Hungarian Defence Forces: Gidran combat vehicles, an SAAB Gripen aircraft and several Leopard 2A7HU third-generation main battle tanks.