The peace in the Western Balkans is one of Hungary’s most important security policy interests, as it is also one of the guarantees of peace in Europe, and achieving and securing it is a challenging task, the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense stressed on Sunday at the reception of the KFOR (Kosovo Peacekeeping Force) reserve battalion returning from Kosovo in Kecskemét.
Hungarian soldiers have been taking part in Balkan operations since 1995 in the interests of the country’s security policy. Hungary has been contributing regular officers and a contingent to the NATO-led KFOR operation, which is still ongoing, since 1999.
The State Secretary said that it is necessary to participate in peace support operations within the framework of the Alliance, therefore the country needs good and modern weapons and well-trained soldiers who love their country. The high quality of the service of more than a hundred soldiers of the KFOR reserve battalion has “enhanced the reputation of the Hungarian Defense Forces”, said Tamás Vargha.
Speaking at the military airport in Kecskemét, Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, Chief of the Hungarian Defense Staff, said that the members of the reserve battalion had once again proved to Hungary’s allies that
Hungarian soldiers can be counted on.
He said that in December last year, the NATO forces had decided to reinforce the troops in Kosovo because of the security situation in the country. This service was carried out by the now returned KFOR reserve battalion, whose soldiers performed almost 250 missions.
Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, Chief of the Hungarian Defense Staff (front), State Secretary Tamás Vargha (back). Photo: MTI/Ujvári Sándor
Hungary has offered to keep a battalion on standby for 2022 in support of NATO’s role in the Balkans in connection with the KFOR command post. The Hungarian Defense Forces’ KFOR Operational Reserve Battalion will be manned throughout the period by the 30th Armored Infantry Brigade of the MH Kinizsi Pál MH in Hódmezővásárhely.
Due to the events in northern Kosovo in December 2022 – increased tension between the Kosovo Serbs and the Albanian population, blocking of roads leading to border crossings, explosions, shootings – the Hungarian Defense Forces deployed one of its battalions of the Operational Reserve Battalion to Kosovo at the end of December. The company was involved in patrol duties, operating observation posts and providing standby duty.
Featured Photo: KFOR Facebook