Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Voters to choose between pro-peace, pro-war sides in June elections

Next month's European Parliament and local council elections will be a choice between pro-peace and pro-war sides rather than left and right, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said in Budapest on Tuesday.

Speaking at a podium discussion at the Kozma Istvan Hungarian Wrestling Academy, Szijjarto said the coming election was especially significant given the amount of pressure Hungary was under.

He said that in the past, “we could say that … there are people from certain walks of life, like soldiers, who use their common sense … and are aware that everything comes with a consequence”.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had to let this illusion go, because in addition to the European Union, even NATO is now sliding into the preparation for war which can now practically be considered madness,” Szijjarto said, according to a ministry statement, calling it “unacceptable” that certain European politicians were now talking about nuclear weapons.

“So we’re not talking about kindergarteners or extremists who will never get close to having power and who have lost their minds, but elected leaders with decision-making power in European political life who are considered serious and who don’t mention the use of nuclear weapons as a dirty word, but rather a possible scenario,” the minister said.

Szijjarto noted that NATO had previously decided that it was not party to the war in Ukraine and that everything possible had to be done to prevent a direct confrontation with Russia, as it would lead to a world war.

“So we drew this red line … and now we’ve started erasing it,” he said, lamenting that NATO was looking to step up its coordination of weapons deliveries and the training of Ukrainian troops, and was planning to approve a 100 billion euro aid package for Kyiv.

He underlined that the Hungarian government did not want to contribute to this plan “in any way”, and that the aim was for Hungarian soldiers to be exempt from participating in such a mission, to avoid “any similar action” happening on Hungary’s territory, and to ensure that Hungarian taxpayers’ money would not be used for the mission.

He said this plan would not bring a quicker end to the war, arguing that the conflict could not be resolved on the battlefield and that weapons deliveries were only prolonging the fighting.

Szijjarto said a favourable outcome in the June elections “would go a long way to mounting effective opposition” to NATO’s proposal, as it could be used to demonstrate in Brussels “that the Hungarian people don’t want any of this”.

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