Minister Šarec discusses defence and military cooperation in Budapest
At the invitation of the Hungarian Minister of Defence, Kristóf Szalay Bobrovnický, Minister of Defence Marjan Šarec paid a two-day official visit to Budapest. The two ministers called for further strengthening of cooperation in the defence and military fields.
The two-day visit of the Slovenian delegation, which included the Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces, Major General Robert Glavaš, was aimed at consolidating the cooperation between the two countries, which has been going on successfully for several years. The main focus has been on training of joint fire controllers and pilots, as well as on military exercises. Last year, we intensified cooperation in the field of special operations units, and we are also strengthening cooperation in the field of military logistics. Minister Šarec thanked his Hungarian counterpart, Kristóf Szalay Bobrovniczki, in particular for the surveillance of Slovenian airspace and the possibility to use Hungarian military training grounds, as well as for Hungary's assistance in extinguishing fires in Slovenia last summer.
The two countries are strengthening multilateral cooperation
The two defence ministers discussed the cooperation between the two countries within NATO and the EU, paying special attention to the Western Balkans region and migration. The stability of this region is of utmost importance for both countries. As the Slovenian Minister pointed out, Slovenia remains committed to assisting and supporting these countries in the process of the Euro-Atlantic perspective. KFOR and Althea operations remain very important for the security and stability of the Western Balkans, and Slovenia will increase its contribution to both, Šarec said. We also help the region with support measures under the European Peace Facility (EPF).
We also cooperate with Hungary in regional initiatives, and the two ministers agreed that this form of cooperation should provide added value. Minister Šarec assessed as important the cooperation between the two countries in the Regional Special Operations Component Command (R-SOCC), which promotes the cooperation of special forces in the region under Hungarian command, and the Slovenian Armed Forces' participation in the Multinational Division Centre (MND-C).
On security and defence investment
The ministers also discussed the international community's efforts to stop the war in Ukraine. Slovenia strongly condemns the Russian military aggression in Ukraine and supports Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and Ukraine's right to self-defence. We have contributed humanitarian and material assistance, and since December last year Slovenia has been helping to treat wounded Ukrainian soldiers.
Minister Marjan Šarec emphasised that the events in Ukraine have prompted us to reflect on security and investment in defence. As he said, we are preparing a new defence strategy, updating our defence planning and military equipping documents, and increasing defence spending. He also praised the Hungarian defence industry strategy, which was presented in more detail by Minister Kristóf Szalay Bobrovniczky during the ministerial meeting.
During his visit, Minister Šarec laid a wreath at Heroes' Square.