KRISTÓF SZALAY-BOBROVNICZKY: THE PRESENCE OF HUNGARIAN SOLDIERS IN THE BALKANS IS OF NATIONAL INTERESTText: honvedelem.hu / MTI | Photo: First Lieutenant Barna Koncsek, Szebáld Szakál |  16:07 September 14, 2022
From the point of view of the Hungarian national interest, the fact that there are Hungarian service members in the Balkans is of particular importance, this is what Minister of Defence Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, visiting the KFOR mission (Kosovo peacekeeping forces) in Kosovo, told the public media on Tuesday, 13th September.
The stability of the Western Balkans determines the security of the entire region, including Hungary. It is important that the NATO's largest land mission has had a Hungarian commander for one year. The Hungarian soldiers do their service excellently, this is a great success both locally and internationally, said the Minister of Defence.
The situation in Kosovo is calm, but the region is full of memories of the war and genocide that happened twenty years ago. There is tension because of the wounds in people, so the mission has a great responsibility, the events need monitoring in order to ensure people's safety in this way too, he added.
There will be a change of commander of the mission shortly, but the new deputy will be a Hungarian officer. It is important that "Hungarian military excellence" is present in the KFOR mission. This helps with maintaining the Hungarian military capabilities, and the Hungarian Defence Forces with increasing its readiness, said Mr Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky.
He added, more and dedicated service is expected from the soldiers, "and the Hungarian government will provide all the necessary support". The salary of Hungarian soldiers will be increased by at least 26 percent in all categories, and the soldiers’ individual equipment will be finalized. By the middle of next year, all Hungarian soldiers will have been issued modern, high-quality, safe, and comfortable personal equipment, the Minister of Defence told the public media in Kosovo.