Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Further spread of nuclear weapons must be prevented ‘through every means’

The international community should use every means to prevent the further spread and use of nuclear weapons, the foreign minister said in New York late on Monday, adding that "no geopolitical games" should be allowed "to the detriment of Hungary".

In his address to a review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Peter Szijjarto noted Hungary’s security, economic and energy challenges due to the war in Ukraine, according to a foreign ministry statement.

Hungary, he added, has so far received 870,000 refugees from Ukraine. He called on the international community to focus their efforts on achieving peace in Ukraine as “the only solution” to the problems arising from the conflict.

The Ukraine war makes it even more important to prevent nuclear arms from being further deployed in the world, Szijjarto said, and warned that the conflict posed an increased threat of nuclear escalation.

Hungary’s interests would be severely undermined if the world were again divided into blocs, he said, stressing the importance of maintaining a dialogue between East and West, especially on strategic issues. The breakdown of dialogue between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council was, he said, was “regrettable”, and he called on the P5 to resume talks to avoid possible further tensions.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto said the peaceful uses of nuclear energy more crucial than ever before in view of the current crisis. He said nuclear energy production was cost-effective, climate-friendly, secure and stable, and could reduce Hungary’s vulnerability to fluctuations on the global energy markets. Possible sanctions concerning nuclear energy must be avoided, he said, adding that such measures would curb sovereign powers to define countries’ energy mix.

He also added that the upgrade project of Hungary’s Paks nuclear plant was fully in line with requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The minister called for full commitment to the NPT, and said Hungary would assume its share of related joint efforts.

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