Heated debates expected at NATO foreign ministers’ informal meeting on Friday, minister says

Heated debates can be expected at Friday's meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Prague, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said in Brussels on Thursday. "We can expect war psychosis to peak and [participants] to support crazier ideas than ever," he said.

Szijjarto said he did not expect “a friendly atmosphere”, and he warned of “a very dangerous situation”, the ministry quoted him as saying.

“Apparently, our European colleagues have plunged themselves with great vigour into the deepening pits of war psychosis on Monday, and I believe that the presence of the Americans and the British will even stimulate this hysterical state,” he said.

“And I expect the meeting of NATO foreign ministers to be surrounded by an even greater pro-war atmosphere than before…” he said.

Regarding a proposal to allow Ukrainian forces to use Western weapons to fire into Russian territory, he said the Russians far from lacked equipment and were bound to retaliate, leading to “many, many more casualties”.

Arms deliveries to Ukraine would increase the number of weapons on both sides of the front, causing more deaths.

“Even the NATO decision to cross the red line that we drew ourselves two years ago in February is very dangerous. NATO crossed this red line by increasing its own role in coordinating weapons deliveries and the training of Ukrainian soldiers,” he said.

He noted that preparations for NATO’s Ukraine mission had been progressing at full tilt in recent weeks, which was “extremely dangerous” and contrary to the alliance’s original mission, as the organisation was not under attack.

“There is no need to use war rhetoric or create war tension,” the minister said. “This is a defence alliance, not one designed to attack.”

He said the government had made it clear in recent weeks that “no Hungarian soldiers can take part in such operations, no Hungarian territories can be used for such operations and no Hungarian taxpayers funds can be used either.” Yet Hungary was being “put under pressure to join this”, he added.

“Naturally, I will continue to resist tomorrow, and make it clear that there is no way Hungary can be forced to join this operation. And it is still unclear how the mission can go ahead without Hungarian taxpayers’ money being used. So heated debates can be expected tomorrow,” Szijjarto said.

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