Hungary's defence minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky confirmed that the EUFOR Althea mission command in Bosnia and Herzegovina will as of January 1 2024 will be led by major general Laszlo Sticz, announcing additional forces to join the European Union's military mission.
“Hungary's Defense Forces are stepping up their commitment: In 2024, additional forces and vital capabilities will join EUFOR ALTHEA. Major General Sticz's experience in force development makes him a strong leader for this mission,” the minister announced on X, formerly Twitter.
According to Hungarian media, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said that the stability of the Western Balkans is a priority for the Hungarian government as the countries play a key role in halting illegal migrant waves.
The minister also announced that the Hungary's Armed Forces will contribute to the mission with its helicopter transport, air evacuation and ROLE 1 medical support capabilities, a bomb disposal crew, explosive detection dogs and a military police unit as of next year.
He recalled that Hungary has been part of the various military missions in the region for decades with the EU's EUFOR Althea in BiH as one of the most important ones.
Sticz's appointment as Althea commander was backed by the military committee of the EU as well as EUFOR Operation Commander Lt. Gen. Hubert Cottereau, the minister underlined.
After the command takeover was announced, Bosnia's defence minister Zukan Helez said the decision had to be prevented due to the close relations between Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban and Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik.