Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Brussels sticking to ‘pro-war’ approach in Ukraine, Foreign Minister says

The approach to the situation in Ukraine remains a "pro-war" stance in Brussels, with the European Commission's 20 billion euro package containing "everything about war, but nothing about how to achieve peace", Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in Luxembourg on Monday.
23. October 2023 19:33

Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Szijjarto said the bloc’s foreign ministers had discussed the proposal on security guarantees for Ukraine which also contains a 20 billion euro weapons delivery package for the next four years as well as a plan to send a military training mission to the country.

The proposal also touches on the development of Europe’s defence industry, with some advocating for military industrial investments in Ukraine, too, Szijjarto said. Other key components concern Ukraine’s reconstruction and further sanctions against Russia, he added.

“So it includes everything that concerns war, but unfortunately it still makes no mention in any way of how peace may be achieved,” the minister said. “It’s clear that the European approach, Brussels’s approach to the developments in Ukraine remains pro-war.”

Brussels expects the war in Ukraine to continue over the next four years, as evidenced by the allocation of an annual 5 billion euros for more weapons deliveries, Szijjarto said.

“If we don’t expect the war to continue over the next four years, then why would we need to spend this much on delivering weapons to Ukraine over the next four years?”

“So this proposal is about everything connected to war, but there is still no one in Brussels, Luxembourg and western Europe willing to talk about how there will be peace,” the minister said.

Europe, he insisted, continued to suffer from “war psychosis” and was unwilling to even discuss the possibility of peace.

The view in Brussels, he said, was that the solution to the war lay in the battlefield, but the past year and a half indicated that this was not true. “There are only casualties and destruction on the battlefield,” Szijjarto said. “And the more casualties and the greater the destruction, the worse the conditions for peace become.”

He said Hungary opposed the idea of setting up arms factories and a training mission in Ukraine, arguing that such a move would immediately drag the EU into the war.

Szijjarto also protested against what he called attempts to use security reasons to put pressure on Hungary to accelerate Ukraine’s EU accession.

“The European Union isn’t a security organisation but a political and economic bloc, so justifying a country’s future membership exclusively with regard to security is completely unacceptable to us,” he said.

The minister said several of his EU counterparts had talked about “a certain Ukraine fatigue”, meaning that it was hard to keep the European public invested in the war. “This is especially true now when the events there are also taking a back seat to the conflict in Israel,” he added.

“If this is true, then it underlines more emphatically the urgent need to make peace,” Szijjarto said. “Because it is only with peace that we can save lives and prevent destruction.”


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