Hungary hosts NATO exercise in 'show of strength'

2nd October 2014, Comments 0 comments

Hungarian and US soldiers took part in a joint military exercise Thursday, simulating "everyday" battle situations in Ukraine, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.

Around 350 Hungarian and 60 US soldiers took part in the exercise near Veszprem 110 kilometres west of Budapest, during which troops, tanks and planes used live ammunition.

The drill reinforced the US message of military readiness in NATO countries amid the West-East standoff with Russia over Ukraine.

NATO's Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, General Adrian Bradshaw, attended the exercise along with observers from several NATO countries.

"Our soldiers simulated situations which happen everyday (on the Ukraine-Russia border)," Orban said during a speech.

"We have to continuously show strength," he added.

After a NATO summit in Britain last month, Hungary, which joined the military alliance in 1999, said it would hike defence spending and hold a series of military exercises in September and October.

"The Hungarian army is at the beginning of a process of technological modernisation," Orban said.

The government would complete a military procurement schedule by November, he added.

© 2014 AFP

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