Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Opposition condemns Russian military aggression

Szijjarto: Hungary will not veto ‘Eastern sanctions’

Hungary will not veto European Union sanctions related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday, adding that the country stands by and takes part in shaping the European Union's common stance.

Speaking from the Liszt Ferenc International Airport before visiting Egypt and Bahrein as head of a delegation of 70 Hungarian companies, Szijjarto said the past few days had brought developments in the conflict that were contrary to the security interests of “Hungary, central Europe, and indeed the whole of Europe”.

In a video posted on Facebook, the minister said that Hungary firmly backed Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty “as we always have, and we will not break ranks regarding the [EU] response…”

Szijjarto said that central Europe and Hungary had a vested interest in maintaining peace and avoiding war.

The deteriorating security situation, he added, had brought about “a serious disinformation and fake news campaign … and, in that regard, Western news media are barely better than their Eastern counterparts.” He insisted Hungary’s stance had been misrepresented in both.

Despite all reports to the contrary in eastern and western outlets, Hungary shared the EU’s stance, he said.

The permanent representatives of member states to the EU held a meeting on Tuesday, alongside an informal meeting of the foreign affairs council, Szijjarto said. The EU ambassadors will meet again later on Wednesday to finalise the sanctions the EU is imposing in response to the developments in eastern Europe in the past few days, he said.

“We Hungarians who live in the region are clinging to hope beyond hope that a solution of one kind or another can be found through diplomacy, and we ask the players on the world stage who have a role here to not give up the hope of, and opportunity for, dialogue,” he said. Until the last channels of communication are closed, Hungary will hope for a peaceful solution, he said.

Opposition condemns Russian military aggression

Hungary’s united opposition condemned “Russia’s open military aggression against Ukraine” in a statement on Tuesday, adding that it backed the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The opposition also called on Hungary’s allies and NATO and European Union member states to demonstrate the “fullest unity” in taking a stand for Ukraine, and to take all necessary steps to maintain peace and the territorial integrity of all European countries.

The statement said that the alliance of the Democratic Coalition, the Socialists, Parbeszed, LMP, Momentum, Mindenki Magyarorszaga and Jobbik rejected “all attempts by third countries to look the other way in the face of aggression or to hinder international sanctions against the aggressor.”

Russia’s attempt to “force its will upon Ukraine” was a violation of international law and treaties, the statement said, calling claims that the attacks came in response to Ukrainian provocation an “outrageous lie”.

The conflict will have dire consequences for the regions Russia recently declared “independent” from Ukraine, but will also impact the circumstances of ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine, the statement said.

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