Opposition calls for committee session over ‘controversial’ remarks by defense minister

United opposition MPs have called for an immediate session of the parliamentary defense committee following the defense minister’s “controversial” remarks about Hungary’s ability to protect itself without NATO.

Ágnes Vadai, deputy leader of the Democratic Coalition group, told an online press conference on Monday that Tibor Benkő’s remarks, made at a residents’ forum over the weekend, stood in stark contrast to the position of the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán that the Hungarian army was able to provide security for Hungary without NATO assistance.

Vadai said

contradictory statements within the government were “shocking and unacceptable”.

The session is also expected to examine allegations about a government proposal to reintroduce compulsory military service in Hungary, Vadai said.

“While Orbán speaks of strategic calm, the government is in total chaos regarding the Russian-Ukrainian war”,

Vadai insisted, adding that “Hungary’s security can only be guaranteed by a stable and strong membership in the European Union and NATO”.

Fidesz replied that the opposition “is trying to scare people by attacking the leadership of the Hungarian armed forces for campaign purposes”. The army, “which the national government has reinforced in recent years, protects our borders and helps refugees. We again call on the opposition to stop behaving irresponsibly,” the statement read, insisting that the opposition wanted to “send Hungarian weapons and soldiers to Ukraine.”

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