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New Defence Attaché of Hungary accredited to Lithuania


On August 2 new Defence Attaché of Hungary Lt Col Lajos Szalavari was accredited to Lithuania and outgoing Defence Attaché Lt COl József Szabó farewelled at a ceremony at the Ministry of National Defence.


Vice Minister of National Defence Vytautas Umbrasas thanked Hungary for all the support received and solidarity in strengthening the security of the Baltic states, especially Lithuania, and wished the incoming Defence Attaché success in continuing the bilateral cooperation in the military area.


“Lithuania and Hungary cherish the same values and are bound by mutual security interests, while in the context of the current changes of the security situation in Europe, we need to communicate and cooperate even more,” Vice Minister V. Umbrasas said at the ceremony.


Vice Minister thanked Hungary for contributions to the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states. A Hungarian Air Force Detachment with four JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft is leading the 50th rotation of the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states from Šiauliai Air Base at the moment. The previous Hungarian detachment was deployed to carry out the mission in 2015.


Vice Minister also underscored Hungary’s contribution to the NATO Assurance Measures at the eastern border of NATO — it was the first NATO ally to deploy a rotational force to train alongside our soldiers.


A Hungarian officer is also serving at the NATO Force Integration Unit in Vilnius, Lithuanian and Hungarian troops have been on standby for the NATO Response Force and have taken part in joint international exercises together.


The Defence Attaché will be based in Vilnius by decision of the Ministry of Defence of Hungary. Previous Defence Attachés of Hungary to the Baltic states used to be based in Warsaw, Poland.


Lithuania and Hungary have been developing bilateral defence cooperation since 1997.


Photo credits: MoD (Giedrė Maksimovicz)

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