Szijjarto: Hungary stands by Ukraine
In a live video streamed on Facebook, Szijjarto said even the diplomacy of the “largest and strongest countries” had been unable to avert war in Ukraine.
Hungary is keeping its representations in Ukraine open, including its embassy in Kyiv, as part of its work to guarantee the safety of Hungarians, he said.
Szijjarto said he had had talks with Istvan Ijgyarto, Hungary’s Ambassador to Ukraine, who said central Ukraine was as yet free of conflict. The Ukrainian national guard has doubled the protection of the embassy, and embassy employees are safe, Ijgyarto said.
The minister called on Hungarians currently in eastern or central Ukraine to contact the embassy.
The Transcarpathia region in eastern Ukraine, which has a large population of ethnic Hungarians, is “calm so far”, and Hungary is in constant contact with the leaders of ethnic Hungarians and local consulates, he said.
Should further steps become necessary, Hungary is prepared to “take them swiftly and in a timely fashion”, Szijjarto said.
Commenting on the situation, political analyst Daniel Deak said Hungary’s geopolitical situation meant that it could not get involved in any sort of armed conflict.
Deak, chief analyst of the 21st Century Institute, told public news channel M1 that all Hungary could do was support the position and steps taken by the European Union and NATO. He cited Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as saying that Hungary aimed to stay out of the conflict, rejecting a proposal by opposition politicians for Hungary to send troops and weapons to Ukraine.
Deak noted, at the same time, that Europe, including Hungary, was dependent on Russian oil and gas, adding that global oil and gas prices were already rising.
Hungary also has a duty to take in and provide care for any refugees fleeing the conflict, he said, adding that the country had a plan in place to accept hundreds of thousands of people if it became necessary.