Szijjarto: Saving lives takes ‘ceasefire and peace’
Peter Szijjarto told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio that statements in the past few weeks suggested that the war would be prolonged, which he said was “the worst possible news”. He said the longer the war dragged on, the more people would die. Hungary’s position supporting an immediate ceasefire and peace talks has not changed since the outbreak of the war, he said.
Referring to recent remarks by Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament, calling for further aid and weapons to Ukraine, Szijjarto said the EP’s credibility had been “practically reduced to nil”, while the recent corruption scandals “have clearly shown that the EP is one of the most corrupt organisations”. The EP’s resolutions and statements have “usually caused damage to Europe”, while “sending weapons will prolong the war”.
Szijjarto insisted that “the war rhetoric is incomparably louder than that of peace in the Transatlantic community”, but added that outside that community “the desire for peace is much stronger than the rhetoric of war”. Countries outside the Transatlantic community “do not understand why a regional conflict should be intensified to the point that it has negative global impacts”, he said. Those countries also have to face impacts of the war such as disruptions in food supplies and soaring energy and raw material prices.
Referring to the EU’s sanctions against Russia, Szijjarto said they had not forced Russia to stop the war, but they had in fact caused greater damage to Europe than to Russia. “The sanctions have failed in their entirety,” he said. The community’s tenth package of sanctions “will cause further damage to us, Europeans, similarly to the previous nine”.
Hungary does not support any sanctions on nuclear energy as any such restrictions could jeopardise the safety of the country’s energy supplies and impact its sovereignty, the foreign minister said. He added that nuclear fuel imports were crucial for the operation of the country’s nuclear power plant at Paks. For reasons of its geographical location, Hungary can only increase its independence of the international energy markets if it produces nuclear energy, he said.
The Hungarian government does not support any sanctions restricting the country’s access to nuclear energy or its cooperation with Russia related to nuclear energy, Szijjarto said.