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V4 Chiefs of Defence Meet in Debrecen

Text: Ferenc Antal | Photo: László Kertész |  16:26 June 16, 2022

“We will continue our cooperation”, said Lieutenant General Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi PhD, Commander, Hungarian Defence Forces in answer to a question from the press following the Meeting of the V4 Chiefs of Defence in Debrecen on Tuesday, 14 June.

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Lieutenant General Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi PhD, Commander, Hungarian Defence Forces, General Daniel Zmeko, Slovak Chief of Defence and General Ales Opata, Czech Chief of Defence were received with military honors in the main square of Debrecen. After a parade march, the chiefs of defence went to the conference hall of Kölcsey Centre, where they discussed issues connected with the security situation of the region and the Russo-Ukrainian War at a conference organized under the aegis of the Hungarian V4 presidency.

“Thanks to our successful cooperation so far and our similar interests, our opinions converge”, said Lieutenant General Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi PhD. He noted that the Russo-Ukrainian War raging in the east directly affects everyone, and for this reason, military readiness, situation awareness and the drawing of conclusions are continuous. He added that “this determines the direction of our own developments and training activities”.

The lieutenant general also told us that although the Polish chief of defence had not attended the meeting, we must acknowledge that every country has national interests due to which “one cannot always leave the country at will.” At the same time, he underlined that besides military cooperation, the chiefs of defence are bound by a close friendship.

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“I think that the past justifies us, since what we have managed to achieve with the V4 partners provides a basis for our successful cooperation in the future”, said the commander of the Hungarian Defence Forces, noting that one of the best proofs of this claim is the Visegrád Four European Union Battle Group, which is to be placed on standby in the first half of 2023, according to plans. “This presupposes that we understand each other, are able to conduct joint training events and deploy on joint operations. This is the flagship of our military cooperation, but we have opened up new areas as well, such as the cyber domain or the transformation day, the “challenge day” which we initiated during the Hungarian presidency and hopefully, will be able to carry on with it.”

“I believe that we have successfully achieved all the goals that we set for ourselves at the beginning of our meeting. We have discussed our shared agenda and established a joint platform for our priorities, as well as the key issues that are of common interest for all V4 countries. We have consulted on the mutual consensus of the national armed forces of the V4, and on the current situation of the war in Ukraine. We have identified the emerging threats in the latest security environment and the possible responses to them. We will continue our close military cooperation in these turbulent times”, this was how Lieutenant General Ruszin summed up the meeting of the V4 Chiefs of Defence.

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The commander of the Hungarian Defence Forces added that they maintain their cooperation to prepare their forces for meeting the challenges of future operations. “We will continue to exploit the full potential of our close cooperation, and synchronize our activities. The V4 nations’ aim is to strengthen cooperation facilitating common European solutions as well as the resilience, security and stability of our region and Europe”, emphasized the brigadier general.

In the plenary session, Lieutenant General Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi PhD symbolically handed over the presidential “gavel”, thereby transferring the Chiefs of Defence presidency to his Slovak counterpart.