Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: EU ‘preparing for world war’ in response to critical military situation in Ukraine

Decision-makers in Brussels "are preparing for a world war" in response to the deteriorating military situation in Ukraine, despite the "failure of the strategy of weapon deliveries", the minister of foreign affairs and trade said on Monday.
22. April 2024 18:09

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg, Peter Szijjarto said Ukraine was increasingly on the back foot in the war against Russia, which he said had prompted a “dangerous response” in Brussels: “a desperate empty-the-warehouse approach”, where almost everyone discussed a future of weapon deliveries.

“We are talking about hundreds of thousands or millions of ammunition and weapons worth billions of euros, even though we know that strategy has failed miserably in the past few years,” he said.

“Weapon deliveries have not brought peace closer; on the contrary … weapon deliveries can only prolong the war and increase the threat of it escalating into a world war,” Szijjarto said.

Hungary has arrived at a different conclusion, to the concept that the peace efforts should be strengthened and diplomacy should take the place of weapon deliveries, he said.

“We Hungarians are ready to discuss peace plans. At the same time, we must make it clear that peace conferences can only be successful if all warring parties are at the table,” he said.

As the EU is starting to prepare the 14th sanctions package against Russia, Szijjarto said he expected pressure on Hungary to be ramped up, too. At the same time, he said previous sanctions had caused more damage to Europe than to Russia, and that European citizens had been the ones to pay the price, including Hungarians who had nothing to do with the war.

“Once again, I made it clear that no matter the pressure brought to bear, we will not support a single sanction that would have Hungarians pay the price of war.”

He said the root of the fundamental difference of opinion was that politicians “in Brussels and many other capital cities” thought of the war as their own.

“I think that is not only dangerous but also false, as Europe is not at war. Europe has not been attacked. No EU or NATO member state has been attacked,” he said.

Hungary continues to see the situation differently and prioritises staying out of the conflict, he added.

Besides, he said, the EU had been gripped by a “bidding war” as the bloc was trying to outbid the US and NATO.

Regarding the situation in the Middle East, he said a consensus was on the horizon on sanctions against Iran in response to the recent attack on Israel. He welcomed the “responsible” conduct of Arab states, and called for the maintenance of regional stability and the avoidance of conflict escalation.

Responding a question about a Hungarian-Israeli national in Hamas captivity, Szijjarto said that the hostage was — according to reports received “a few weeks ago” — still alive.

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