Hungary defence spending to be increased if Ukraine war drags into 2025 -PM Orban

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

© APA | Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

# 03 May 2024 10:57 (UTC +04:00)

Hungary will need to boost defence spending further next year if the war in neighbouring Ukraine drags into 2025, reducing the amount of funds available for other expenditure, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public radio on Friday, APA reports citing Reuters.

Russia's 2022 war on Ukraine has triggered a surge in defence spending on NATO's eastern flank led by Poland, which has doubled defence expenditure to 3.9% of economic output by 2023 from 2014 levels based on NATO figures.

While strongly opposing Western military and financial support to Ukraine over concerns of the conflict spilling over into Europe, Hungary has also ramped up its defence spending sharply, to 2.43% of GDP last year, above a 2% NATO guideline.

"If the war drags on into 2025, then the 2023-2024 defence spending levels will not be sufficient and will have to be increased," Orban said in an interview, adding that the move would leave less funding for other purposes.

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