Hungary's foreign affairs and defense ministers expressed interest some time ago in visiting the Hungarian troops stationed in Estonia as of this summmer, but have made it conditional that they visit Estonia separately.
According to ERR's information, Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials are in a bind, as arranging a joint visit would have been much more reasonable.
"In cooperation with the Hungarian Embassy, it has been agreed according to the initial plan that Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó will meet with the Hungarian troops in Võru on Sept. 1, while Minister of Defence István Simicskó [will meet with them] in early September, when the informal meeting of EU defense ministers takes place in Tallinn," a ministry spokesperson told ERR in response to the latter's question.
The meeting of defense and foreign miinisters will take place in Tallinn on Sept. 6-8.
While the Estonian ministry did not reveal all details involved in the matter in its official response, it also did not refute the information regarding the Hungarian ministers' disagreement.
The ministers' refusal to meet on a working visit is particularly extraordinary due to the fact that the two officials not only belong to the same government, but also the same political party — the ruling Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Allicance.
A Hungarian infantry unit, part of the 1st Mechanized Battalion of the 25th Klapka György Infantry Brigade of the Hungarian Defence Force, arrived in Estonia at the beginning of July based on an agreement of the Visegrád Group, which consists of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, who recently decided to join NATO's increased deterrence efforts along the alliance's eastern flank.
The Hungarian troops, based at Taara Army Base in the Southeastern Estonian city of Võru, are participating in military exercises together with the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF). They are scheduled to remain in Estonia for a total of three months.
Editor: Aili Vahtla