Peace and security in the Western Balkans are necessary for peace and stability in Europe, stressed Katalin Novák.Continue reading
Due to the increasingly tense situation in Kosovo, NATO’s KFOR peacekeeping mission is also on alert, including a large number of Hungarian soldiers, the 24.hu portal wrote in an interview with Major General Ferenc Kajári, the commander of the NATO mission, who served until October 2022.
It is a great honor that Hungary has been given the opportunity to command a NATO mission, Major General Ferenc Kajári said, adding that it demonstrates the reliability of the Hungarian Defense Forces to be able to carry out such a task. “On the other hand, it is also a confirmation of Hungarian foreign policy, as the Western Balkans are an important factor in European security policy,” he pointed out.
The Hungarian Defense Forces have been present in KFOR since 1999. After a transitional period, they started to play a role in the KFOR Tactical Reserve Battalion, which at that time was still under Portuguese command with a Portuguese and a Hungarian company.
“In 2017, Lisbon withdrew and the Hungarian government made a commitment to NATO that we would take over the whole battalion – securing another company. It is still the backbone of the Hungarian contribution, which is a contingent of nearly 400 men. This organization reports directly to the KFOR commander and answers to him. This battalion is part of the kinetic force, i.e. it performs rifle duties,” the Major General explained.
KFOR’s most important task is to maintain security in Kosovo, and if the situation escalates, it must be prepared to intervene.
“This was the case on July 31, when in a matter of minutes, Kosovo Serb protest groups blocked the roads leading to the main border crossing,” Kajári recalled, calling it the most critical moment of last year.
Photos via Honvedelem.hu