Defence Imre Szekeres appeared to be snubbed on a visit to
Anatoly Serdyukov claimed he was too busy to meet him. Szekeres later said that
the visit was unofficial and that he had known in advance that Serdyukov could
not meet him.
visit, Szekeres proposed buying new Russian helicopters in part exchange for
returning Hungarian MIG fighters to
on existing helicopters. The move seems likely to raise eyebrows among
joined NATO in 1999. It is the norm for NATO members to buy NATO-compatible military
equipment. This usually rules out Russian-manufactured equipment.
deal in which
obtained the Russian-built planes, it cannot simply sell on the equipment
without Russian consent. He asked
the last of 14 Gripen fighter jets by the end of this year. The delivery of the
Anglo-Swedish planes will render the remaining Russian-built MIG 29 fighters
surplus to requirements. The Hungarian military plans to phase out the MIGs by
2009. In 1993,
received 28 MIG 29 fighter jets from
as part of a deal to pay off Russian debts to
meeting with members of the Russian Parliament’s defence committee, Szekeres
suggested renewing the defence agreement signed between the two countries in
1992. He said the agreement needs amending on almost every single point.
also visited military cemeteries containing the remains of some of the 200,000
Hungarian soldiers killed in fighting at the Don bend during the Second World