Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the European Union’s position that conditions for peace talks between Ukraine and Russia are not in place is “hypocritical and self-destructive” and urged a ceasefire and negotiations.
Speaking at a festival organized by the Mathias Corvinus Collegium in Esztergom, north of Budapest, on Saturday, Minister Szijjártó regretted that Europe had “sunk into war psychosis” and the community’s foreign policy was “restricted to that single topic”. “This war is bad, it is brutal, with people dying and the country is practically reduced to ruins; this war must be terminated and condemned, clearly naming who is the aggressor and who is the victim,” he said. “But when you call for talks on peace, you will be declared a Putinist, a Kremlin propagandist, a friend or spy of Russia,” he insisted. Minister Szijjártó said the EU’s attitude was hypocritical when it “immediately calls for a ceasefire and peace talks whenever there is an armed conflict elsewhere in the world, whereas it is not happening in case of Ukraine … this dichotomy is harmful and unacceptable,” he insisted. “Conditions will be worse tomorrow than today and they were better than today, because there were fewer dead yesterday and tomorrow the number of deaths will further increase,” he said. The minister called a proposal under which up to 20 billion euros could be spent on arms for Ukraine in the next four years as “appalling” and interpreted the EU’s position as the community’s conviction that “the war will certainly go on for at least another four years”. He said it was “problematic” that “Hungary should contribute 200 million euros to the scheme while the country cannot access funds payable by the EU”. Concerning the EU’s freezing of community funding for Hungary, Szijjártó said it had not happened “due to certain laws … the real reason is that Brussels has adopted a mission to out Hungary’s Christian Democratic and patriotic government”. “This is brutal because they cite a lack of democracy in Hungary as the reason for all procedures against the country, while it is them that trample on democracy and refuse to accept the democratic will of the Hungarian people,” he insisted. “Brussels and Europe’s bureaucracy are the greatest disgrace for democracy,” he added. Answering a question concerning US Ambassador David Pressman, Szijjártó said his expectations for Hungary’s ambassadors to other countries included diplomats’ not interfering with the domestic affairs of the recipient country; they should not comment on politicians’ remarks, nor should they participate in demonstrations. “If an ambassador of mine kept interfering with the politics of the other country, I would recall them instantly; it is not their duty to do so, while it is also disrespectful towards the recipient country,” he insisted.