Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto discusses Sweden’s NATO accession with Estonian counterpart

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto discussed Sweden's NATO accession with his Estonian counterpart Margus Tsahkna on Monday, reassuring him that the Hungarian government maintained its "positive approach" to the matter.

Speaking during a break in a cabinet meeting in Sopronbanfalva, in north-western Hungary, Szijjarto said he had spoken with Tsahkna by phone to discuss several key issues concerning both countries. He said he had reassured his counterpart that the Hungarian government’s positive approach to Sweden’s NATO bid was unchanged, and that the bill approving Sweden’s membership had long ago been submitted to parliament.

“I informed the minister that we have invited Sweden’s prime minister to Hungary, and I hope he will accept the invitation and come, because that will prove that this is indeed an important matter for Sweden,” Szijjarto said, according to a ministry statement.

Szijjarto said he and Tsahkna had also discussed the sanctions imposed on Russia, underlining that Hungary’s position was clear on this matter as well. “We believe the sanctions policy has failed, so we don’t see a reason to approve more sanctions packages,” he said.

He noted that the European Union plans to approve more sanctions against Russia on the occasion of the coming second anniversary of the outbreak of the war.

“I think it’s completely pointless to make this aspect of the EU’s functioning even more frivolous with the show of a sanctions package,” he said.

Szijjarto noted that the Hungarian government had made it clear at meetings in Brussels this past weekend that Hungary would not approve any kind of sanctions affecting the energy sector or the nuclear industry, or any that endangered the EU’s foreign relations.

Meanwhile, the minister said he and Tsahkna were in agreement that though there were issues on which their two countries disagreed, this was natural, and there were far more things that bound them together, and they had “far more shared strategic interests than we would think”.

He said they had agreed to boost bilateral ties, and that he had invited Tsahkna to Budapest. Tsahkna, he added, had “gladly accepted the invitation, and he will hopefully pay us a visit before the start of our EU presidency.”

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