Szijjarto: Hungary not sending ammunition to Ukraine
Szijjarto noted that proposals were on the agenda of today’s meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels to increase arms shipments and to finance one billion euros-worth of artillery shells for member states to supply Ukraine from their own stocks as part of the European Peace Framework.
“Hungary is not supplying weapons … we want peace,” he told a press conference held during a break of the meeting. “That’s why we’re not taking part … We’re not supplying ammunition to Ukraine, neither are we preventing others from doing what they want… ”
Hungary’s contribution to the EPF is one percent, or around ten million euros, to be used for other purposes such as working for the stability of the Western Balkans and reducing migration pressure, a ministry statement cited Szijjarto as saying.
The minister said Hungary would not take part in procuring ammunition or delivering it to Ukraine.
Szijjarto said Brussels was still fomenting “an atmosphere of war” and that countries promoting peace were under mounting pressure to fall in line. He added that a diplomatic settlement was the only way to save lives.
“No matter the pressure on us … we continue to represent the cause of peace,” he said.
He said Hungary had been criticised for taking its position to the UN Security Council, adding that it had been frowned on that a country from “the European choir” should “sing out in international organisations”. Given that the EU comprises sovereign countries, “this is quite extraordinary”, he said. “We reject any pressure that undermines the sovereignty of Hungarian foreign policy…” he added.
On the topic of the “disenfranchisement of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine”, Szijjarto said he had turned to Josep Borrell, the EU high representative for foreign affairs, with a request that, when it comes to Ukraine’s possible accession talks, he should make it clear to Kyiv that respect for national rights is one of the most fundamental European values and that the rights of the Hungarian national community should be respected.
He said it was “unacceptable” that 99 Hungarian primary and secondary schools in Transcarpathia were under the cloud of closure from Sept. 1 when 1,300 schools and kindergartens in Hungary had taken in Ukrainian refugee students.
The minister said Ukraine’s EU prospects would be heavily determined by whether Ukraine respects the rights of the Hungarian national minority and whether it restores the rights they enjoyed prior to 2015.