Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto to EU: ‘Stop threatening, blackmailing western Balkans’

Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, has called on the European Union to cease "threatening and blackmailing" the Western Balkans to ensure a successful integration policy.

At the joint press conference with Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik held in Banja Luka on Friday, Szijjarto noted that a priority of Hungary’s upcoming EU presidency would be to speed up the EU integration of the Western Balkans.

He said the EU needed fresh impetus and ambitions, and the Western Balkans “can provide all this”.

The minister called on the EU to speak to the region “with a respectful voice” and take the will of the people of the region and the results of elections there seriously.

Every country, he added, had the right “to decide on its own future and destiny”.

Szijjarto said Hungary would continue to oppose any political leader elected in the Western Balkans from being placed on a sanctions list.

Also, Hungary would oppose the withdrawal of development money as this would “punish the people living here”, he added.

Meanwhile, Hungary continues to support a scheme for agricultural enterprises of Republika Srpska in view of “responsible neighborhood policy”.

Every farmer and agricultural enterprise in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, too, would benefit from this, he said. The relevant companies must use the money under the scheme to buy equipment manufactured in Hungary, he noted, so Hungarians would also benefit.

Defence Minister: Serbia Hungary’s strategic partner

Hungary’s neighbour Serbia is a partner of strategic importance and the two countries are bound by a “serious friendship”, the defence minister said after meeting his Serbian counterpart, Milos Vucevic, in Budapest on Friday, noting that they have established a working group for cooperation in the defence industry and for making joint defence procurements.

Hungary is in a position to sell surplus assets to Serbia thanks to its continuous purchases of cutting-edge defence equipment, Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky said.

The working group now aims to expand cooperation to the manufacturing of defence equipment, he added.

Vucevic thanked the Hungarian government for its steady support for Serbia’s EU integration. “We share values and believe in the same Europe … A Europe that has traditions, values and so has a shared future,” he said.


Leave a Reply