Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, told a joint press conference held with his Latvian counterpart, Edgars Rinkevic, that EU integration was taking place so slowly that “looking at this honestly, it’s not progressing at all”. Hungary and the bloc’s security and economic interests were not served by thwarting integration, which, he added, was the surest way to achieve stability and peace in the region.
On the subject of Covid-19, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary’s government was helping Latvia in its actions to fight the fourth wave of the pandemic by sending 55 patient monitors and 100 units of intravenous medication equipment to the country. Addressing defense matters, he noted that the Hungarian army has already participated twice in NATO Baltic airspace control missions, and the next ones would take place from September to December next year and in 2025.
Rinkevic, referring to Belarus, warned about migration being used as a “hybrid weapon”, calling for the EU’s external borders to be strengthened and sanctions administered. He also praised the “friendship and alliance” between Hungary and Latvia, noting common agreement on key challenges such as migration facing the EU.
Answering a journalist’s question concerning Manfred Weber’s comment on EU support for a fence on the Polish-Belarusian border but not for Hungary’s, Szijjártó described the head of the European People’s Party EP group’s comment as “nonsense”, and he called Weber’s attitude “Hungarophobic”.
On the topic of the Pegasus scandal, the minister insisted that none of Hungary’s intelligence services had “eavesdropped on anyone illegally” since 2010. The Information Office, he added, had not purchased the Israeli spyware.
Photo credit: MTI