Szijjarto: Peace would save lives
Concerning Hungary’s position, different from the rest of the European Union, Peter Szijjarto referred to Ukraine’s ethnic Hungarian community, whose members were fighting in the Ukrainian military. “German or Danish soldiers do not die in this war but Hungarians do,” he said.
The minister insisted that “war rhetoric is now much stronger on this hemisphere than that of peace”, but said he hoped the European and transatlantic communities would also adopt the Hungarian position.
Hungary is “not part of the conflict” therefore “it is not up to the Hungarian government to say what should happen after a ceasefire,” Szijjarto said, but added that “geographical integrity and sovereignty must be observed”. “It is also clear who attacked whom , and Hungary condemns Russia for the war,” he said.
Answering a question suggesting that ending the war was up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Szijjarto said “there are clearly two parties in a war”, and said he hoped “they will talk because both will want sustainable peace”.
Should the war escalate, it will not happen “thousands of kilometres away, but in the neighbouring regions … Hungary does not want to participate in this war”, he said.
Asked about the possibility of a visit by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to Kyiv, Szijjarto said the PM had received an invitation and “now the technical details need to be clarified”. “When all conditions are set, there may be a visit,” he said.
On another subject, Szijjarto called talks under way between Hungary and the EU on community funding “frustrating”. He said the EU’s freezing the funds due to Hungary was “no problem in terms of the budget”, but it was “a matter of principle”. Funds to members from the EU budget are “not humanitarian donations” and refusing to make those payments for political reasons is “unacceptable”, he insisted.
The conflict between Hungary and the EU “arises from the fact that Brussels does not like the way the government rules the country”, he said, adding that the government “opposes federalism and supports national competencies”. “We are a right-wing, patriotic and Christian government running fully against the mainstream and Brussels cannot swallow that,” he said.
Concerning Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership, Szijjarto said the Hungarian government supported their bids, adding he thought parliament would support a relevant proposal by the government now before the assembly.
Asked about Hungary’s support for the Bosnian Serb Republic, Szijjarto said Hungary had “very good” relations with Serbia, and considered stability in the Western Balkans crucial. Economic stability is a key component, that is why the Hungarian government supports small and medium-sized companies in the Bosnian republic, he added.