Hungary Boosting Defense Spending to 2% of GDP

Int’l Relations

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As a "loyal member" of the alliance, Hungary is boosting its spending on defense to 2% of GDP this year, a year ahead of its 2024 NATO pledge, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels this week, according to origo.hu.

Hungary is one of nine NATO members that will meet the spending target this year, Szijjártó said. He added that Hungary had met the NATO guideline for putting 20% of defense expenditures toward significant equipment spending, including research and development, already in 2019.

Last year, he noted that 48% of defense expenditures went toward boosting capacity, pointing to defense industry investments "of a massive scale."

Szijjártó said the position taken earlier that NATO is not a party to the war in Ukraine and that everything must be done to avoid a direct conflict between NATO and Russia must be respected.

"Anything that risks the possibility of NATO becoming a party to the war is unacceptable for us," he added.

He said the next NATO summit in Vilnius, in the summer, will have to address challenges in the south of Europe as migratory pressure grows.

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