"To guarantee the country's security, we must continue to increase defence capabilities"

In order to safeguard Hungary's security, we must continue to increase our defence capabilities, the defence minister-designate said during his ministerial hearing before the National Assembly's Defence Committee in Budapest on Wednesday.

POLITICS MAY 21. 2022 11:03

Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky stressed that there is a war in Hungary’s neighbourhood, adding that other security challenges – such as illegal migration and cyber threats – also need to be addressed.

He emphasized that

“we are on the side of peace, we do not want to be part of this war.” The task of the Hungarian Defence Forces is to guarantee peace and maintain security.”

In his recent speech in parliament, he pointed out that PM Viktor Orban had also called it a priority to guarantee Hungary’s defence and security. Therefore, in his assessment, the defence ministry will be in charge of one of the most important areas, where Mr Szalay-Bobrovniczky pledged to conduct a serious, dedicated work.

If Hungary is unable to defend itself because it is “weak” in terms of military technology and personnel, this could make the country a target, Mr Szalay-Bobrovniczky said. Therefore, in order to increase the security of the country, we must build a strong, confident, well-equipped and combat-ready army with a larger military force, he added.

He called for a further increase in the defence budget and the continuation of military development. He added that it was also an important task to provide a career model for both men and women involved in the armed defence of the country, which would effectively facilitate their entry into the armed forces, their movement within the armed forces and their return to society.

Mr Szalay-Bobrovniczky also underlined that the ministry will now come under civilian leadership, but it will still rely on troops, and primarily the commander of Hungary’s Armed Forces.

The minister-designate indicated that, by reason of his diplomatic skills, international relations both within and beyond NATO will be a key aspect of his work.

Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky, soon to be 52, is the father of 3 children. He has decades of experience in the corporate world. He has also worked in positions close to the government structure, for instance at the helm of Szazadveg, assisting and supporting the government’s policies after 2010 with analyses. Later, he became Hungary’s ambassador to the UK, a NATO ally and nuclear power.

He also mentioned that he comes from a military family, therefore he applied to serve as a volunteer army reservist. He served for several years as an active member of the guard of honour at the Defence Forces. Earlier, he served as chairman of the Hungarian Reserve Association and is currently its Social Chairman.

POLITICS

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Hungary, kristof szalay-bobrovniczky, minister of defense