The defence ministers of Hungary and the Czech Republic met in Budapest on Friday to discuss cooperation between the two countries’ armed forces.
Tibor Benkő said military capability development and the general security environment were also topics of discussion. The need for security in Europe is intensifying, and Visegrad Group cooperation would address one aspect of this need, he added. They agreed that both countries have the same views on how changes have taken place in Europe in respect of challenges, risks and threats, as well as the general public’s sense of security. The officials discussed two threats — originating from the East and South — identified by NATO. Hungary wants central Europe to put a greater premium on security, Benkő said.
He said talks also covered two Hungarian components, namely the Central European Division and the regional special operations forces. Benkő said the two countries see eye to eye when it comes to development of their armed forces and agree on which areas of forces development needed to be focused on. He noted Hungary has purchased licences from the Czech Republic to assemble weapons as well as training equipment. In addition, the ministers agreed on joint training and exercises. They discussed Hungary’s Copsec 2019 exercises, focusing on the protection of external borders, which 15 countries have indicated they will join.
Lubomír Metnar said cooperation on security was of vital importance given the security situation in the region. He emphasised the importance of cooperation between NATO, the European Union and the Visegrad Group countries, adding that one of the best aspects of V4 cooperation was the V4-EU battle group.
He said Hungary had similar thinking regarding V4 cooperation and EU structured defence cooperation within PESCO, the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation.