The Hungarian Defence Forces are returning to the borders for the summer months, Deputy Minister Szilárd Németh, the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence announced on 1 June, Saturday, in Budapest.

At his press conference held at the Ministry of Defence, Mr Németh recalled that in 2015 four hundred thousand illegal immigrants marched through Hungary, and this problem had to be resolved by relying on our own resources, in the absence of assistance from the European Union.

“In national consultations, the Hungarian people decided that we should protect the country and fulfil our obligations under the Schengen Agreement,” the Deputy Minister stressed, adding that pursuant to those obligations, the Hungarian government erected a technical border fence and introduced legal closure on the southern border section, and further decided to involve the Hungarian Defence Forces in the interest of supporting the activities of border guarding units. The temporary security border fence of the approximate length of 300 kilometres was built by the Hungarian Defence Forces, and the border sections in question were guarded by the temporary units of the Hungarian Defence Forces together with police officers. Up until the summer of 2018, soldiers participated in the country’s border defence efforts on an ongoing basis, in large numbers, while since then smaller units with special expertise have helped the work of the police.

Mr Németh said due to the ever-intensifying pressure of migration from the Balkans and the increased summer duties of the police, the government decided that the Hungarian Defence Forces will repeatedly take part in border protection activities in larger numbers and with their full available capabilities.

“We will continue to perform the necessary helicopter intelligence and demonstration duties, the canine patrolling duties of the military police, and the rapid reaction boat patrolling duties. Some 650 soldiers will perform patrolling duties in three shifts, in addition to military personnel participating in the fulfilment of logistic and other support responsibilities. Consequently, some 1,000 soldiers will be serving at the border. Additionally, another one thousand persons will be standing by ready to be deployed within 24 hours,” the Deputy Minister said.

(Ministry of Defence)