Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Hungary committed to pro-peace stance despite EU’s ‘atmosphere of war’

Hungary is committed to its pro-peace stance even though the European Union remains dominated by an "atmosphere of war" and most member states want to continue providing military support to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in Stockholm on Friday.
12. May 2023 17:22

Everyone is of the view that European weapons deliveries are having a positive effect on the war, which is why many argue for supplying even more weapons, Szijjarto said during a break in an informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers, according to a ministry statement.

These member states say Ukraine must be given all the support it needs for as long as it needs it, “and unfortunately, this applies primarily to military support”, the minister said.

But Hungary’s position remains clear, he said, emphasising that “we want peace as soon as possible, because every minute this war continues costs more and more lives and poses a very serious threat of escalation.”

An immediate ceasefire and peace talks are needed, followed by a diplomatic settlement that can guarantee long-term peace and security in central Europe and on the entire continent, Szijjarto said.

Meanwhile, he pointed out that under new Ukrainian laws, Hungarian-language schools in the country would no longer be able to operate from September.

“This is an unacceptable situation,” he said, arguing that the ethnic Hungarian community in Ukraine had already had their rights “seriously infringed”, but “this would be such an unprecedented infringement that calls for a European reaction”.

“Of course, the European foreign ministers don’t really want to acknowledge the situation,” Szijjarto said. “They pretend that it doesn’t exist, that they don’t hear about it, even though they hear about it all the time because we constantly say it.”

The minister said he believed it would be “very hard” to expect further support or sacrifices from Hungary’s part in connection with the war while ethnic Hungarian schools faced closure.

Szijjarto asked the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy to try to convince Kyiv in the time remaining to withdraw the decree in question.

He noted that Ukraine’s deputy prime minister had made a promise at a recent EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting that they would soon meet to discuss possible solutions to the situation, “but this has yet to happen”.

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