Illustration – Photo: Facebook (Hungarian Defence Forces)

Szijjarto calls for rejecting ‘the very idea of European conscription’

Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, on Tuesday called for rejecting "the very idea of European mandatory conscription", saying it must be made clear that "no one will take young Hungarians to the Ukrainian front with any kind of force or on the basis of any decision".
28. May 2024 18:29

Speaking at a campaign event in Nagykoros, in central Hungary, Szijjarto said that with the European parliamentary election campaign in its home stretch, the “war psychosis in Brussels has reached its peak”.

He said this was evidenced by several of his counterparts calling the French president’s remarks about the possibility of sending European troops to Ukraine “an excellent idea” at the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Monday.

“And alongside this, there’s also been intensive talk in recent weeks in Europe about nuclear weapons, when it’s completely clear that a few nuclear bombs are just enough to destroy the entire world, and the Russians, for example, have thousands of them,” the minister said.

“And what has been one of the consequences of the fantasising about nuclear weapons? The Russians began a military exercise concerning the use of tactical nuclear weapons,” he added.

As regards the idea of mandatory conscription in Europe, Szijjarto pointed out that with the Ukrainian army taking increasingly heavy losses in casualties, the local authorities were doing everything to prevent people from leaving the country, which had led to “scenes on the Ukraine-Hungary border last seen in communist East Germany”.

“And the idea of European conscriptions is obviously about taking young Europeans to the Ukrainian-Russian front to fight,” he said. “And we know full well how this usually works: well, boys, the ones closest will be the first to go. And then they’ll want to take young central Europeans and Hungarians to the Ukrainian-Russian front. Oh no they won’t!”

“The very idea of European conscription must be rejected,” Szijjarto said. “It must be made clear that no one will take young Hungarians to the Ukrainian front with any kind of force or on the basis of any decision.”

The foreign minister said many European politicians believed the war in Ukraine was Europe’s war, too, “but this is not true, given that not a single country besides Ukraine has been attacked”.

“So the Ukrainians aren’t fighting for us, let’s forget about this,” he said. “Europe hasn’t been attacked; the Russians attacked Ukraine, which we, of course, condemn.”

“This isn’t our war,” the minister said. “For two and a half years now we’ve been working to stay out of it. And the others have been working for two and a half years to press us along with the whole of Europe into this war. And we are not going to allow this, that’s for sure.”

Szijjarto said Ukraine had not been able to achieve military success on the battlefield despite the weapons they had received, adding that weapons deliveries were only causing more death and destruction. The only solution Szijjarto said was a diplomatic settlement. The only question, he added, was when peace talks could begin, “because the sooner the better”.

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