Hungary will resume its duties as part of the Baltic airspace mission from September 2022, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, said in Siauliai, Lithuania.
Szijjártó visited the Siauliai air base at the conclusion of Hungary’s current mission to protect Baltic airspace which started in May this year, involving 92 Hungarian soldiers, including 7 pilots and four Jas-39 Gripen aircraft.
The troops were scrambled 43 times and spent a total of 456 hours in the air, he added. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkecius and Deputy Defence Minister Vytautas Umbrasas thanked the Hungarian forces for their mission.
Some 1,000 Hungarian soldiers are serving abroad in missions coordinated by NATO, the European Union and the UN, Szijjártó noted.
Szijjártó also said Hungary’s military contribution to various international missions would soon be expanded, by 130 men in Kosovo and 70 in Afghanistan, both NATO missions. The country is also sending a 60-strong unit to the UN’s mission in Lebanon, he added.
Hungary complied with NATO’s requirement to channel 20% of its defence spending into development already in 2019, and will raise defence spending to 2% of GDP ahead of the 2024 deadline, he said.