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Tag: Tibor Benkő

Opposition demands answers from Defense Minister over drone that passed through Hungary

picture of crashed drone

Opposition members of the Committee on Defense and Law Enforcement wrote an open letter to Minister of Defense Tibor Benkő regarding the military reconnaissance drone that flew over Hungary in early March and later crash-landed in Zagreb.

Ágnes Vadai, Tamás Harangozó, and László Lukács addressed their questions to the Defense Minister, as committee Chair Lajos Kósa “has still not convened the committee after he canceled a planned meeting less than 24 hours before it was supposed to start, nor has he answered our questions about the downed drone.”

“We are only asking you for as much time as the military reconnaissance drone spent in Hungarian airspace,” they write. During this 40 minutes, they would like Minister Benkő to answer the following questions:

  • Is it true that they were not able to identify the military drone that spent 40 minutes in Hungarian airspace?
  • What happened with the promised investigation into the “drone case?”

[444][Photo: site of military drone that crashed down in Zagreb, Croatia]

As war rages in Ukraine, Defense Minister finds time for a little election campaigning

picture of Tibor Benkő and Balázs Fürjes

We’re living in historical times, with Russia attacking Ukraine at dawn yesterday in the largest armed conflict on European soil since the Second World War, writes Telex. Not to mention the fact that the war is raging in a country neighboring Hungary, where an ethnic Hungarian minority also lives.

With this in mind, one might then ponder what the Hungarian Minister of Defense is busy doing. Reviewing the troops? Conferring with Ukrainian military leaders? Possibly debating the situation in Ukraine with representatives from NATO?

While we cannot answer any of these questions with absolute certainty, we do know that Defense Minister Tibor Benkő managed to find time in the middle of the Ukrainian crisis to do a little campaigning for Balázs Fürjes, Fidesz’s candidate in District XII in Buda.

Minister of Defense Tibor Benkő and I had brief talks about the Russian aggression against Ukraine, then held a forum together in Buda.

-wrote Fürjes, the Secretary of State responsible for developing Budapest and the metropolitan region, on Facebook.

Fürjes then expressed his views on the conflict that broke out earlier that day, and where Hungary stood with respect to it:

Hungary’s position is clear: as a member of the Western alliance system in NATO and the EU, we support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we condemn Russia’s military action. It is in Hungary’s interest to resolve the conflict as soon as possible and to restore peace immediately.

On the eve of the Russian attack, Minister Benkő said that Hungary was preparing to receive tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

That same day, he held a meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the Hungarian Defense Force’s Integrated Operations Center. A map appearing in a video about this high-level meeting indicated that the government was expecting as many as 600,000 refugees to enter the country from over the Carpathian Mountains.

[Telex][Photo: Balázs Fürjes / Facebook]

No need to station NATO troops in Hungary, says Defense Minister

picture of Tibor Benkő

Hungarian Defense Minister Tibor Benkő (pictured) appeared to pour cold water on the possibility of NATO troops being stationed in Hungary over the situation in Ukraine.

Minister Benkő stated on Thursday that one of Hungary’s primary military objectives was “to create a national military force, such national capabilities that we would not have to rely on other foreign forces and troops in such situations.”

He also added:

And we are on that path. So now, in the present situation we are in now, I have to say that as opposed to several other countries, we do not consider it appropriate, or request that NATO reinforcements be stationed here. We can perform this task ourselves.

-said the Defense Minister.

RT picked up on the Minister’s comments on Sunday and published an article with the title, “Hungary does not need NATO reinforcements amid Ukraine standoff – minister,” which was first noted by Telex.

In the article, RT pointed out that Hungary was also opposed to Ukraine joining NATO because of the ethnic Hungarians in the country’s Transcarpathian region.