Donald Tusk - Photo: EPP

Szijjarto hits back at Tusk’s criticism of Hungary’s position on Ukraine war

Hungary is a sovereign country, "regardless of whether [Polish Prime Minister] Donald Tusk likes it or not", Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday, criticising Tusk's recent remarks on the Hungarian government's stance on the war in Ukraine.

According to a ministry statement, Szijjarto said that during his visit to Kyiv, Tusk had shown “a complete lack of respect by attacking” the Hungarian government’s position. Tusk, Szijjarto said, had “accused our country of betraying Europe, being un-European, talking about the darkest place of political hell”.

“We have now, of course, seen and are seeing the developments of the last few weeks in Poland, and we can see the Polish prime minister’s concept of democracy,” Szijjarto said.

“We see that they don’t tolerate views that differ from those … of the government in any way.”

“But as it stands, we really do have to ask: what sort of behaviour is this in Europe?” the minister said.

“What kind of behaviour is it to only accept the existence of a single opinion? What kind of behaviour is it to be intolerant … of other opinions on a given issue?”

Szijjarto said the principle that people cannot be sanctioned for having different opinions was a fundamental European value.

In a message to Tusk, Szijjarto said that in Europe everyone had a right to their opinion and to represent their position, for which they could not be sanctioned, labelled “un-European” or imprisoned.

Meanwhile, he said it was clear that the war could not be resolved on the battlefield. He added that Hungary therefore would remain in favour of peace, and he called for an urgent ceasefire and peace talks.

“Hungary is a sovereign country that has a right to represent its opinion,” the minister said.

“We insist on the need for peace in Ukraine as soon as possible, even if Donald Tusk holds a different opinion and represents a pro-war stance.”

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