Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said in Budapest on Tuesday that contrary to what the world’s liberal political and media sphere says, the global majority, much like Hungary, clearly wants peace in Ukraine as soon as possible.
Minister Szijjártó told an international conference organized by Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) that Europe is facing its most serious security and economic challenges since the second world war. Moreover, the risk of escalation is greater than ever before, while Europeans are in no way responsible for the outbreak of the war, he added. “The fact that there are European political leaders who suffer from an increasingly worsening war psychosis is another matter,” Minister Szijjártó said. “It also must be made clear that this is not the European people’s war, but all Europeans are paying the price for it.” He criticised the European Union’s sanctions policy and that the bloc had “allowed the United States to provoke it into a race to see who delivers more weapons to Ukraine”. The EU has seen a steep fall in its competitiveness, and energy prices are several times higher than in the US and China, the minister said.
“We demand an immediate ceasefire and a start to peace talks that can at least offer hope of a sustainable peace ensuring long-term security in our region,” Minister Szijjártó added. He said one serious consequence of the war was the re-emergence of blocs in the world, which, he said, was “completely against the interests of central Europe”. He also raised the question of where the tens of thousands of weapons delivered to Ukraine may end up in the coming years. Szijjártó said while Western Europeans wanted to “decouple” the European and Chinese economies, major business executives were constantly asking Hungary to convince Chinese companies to invest in their area. He also emphasised that there were several places in the world where just a fraction of the weapons sent to Ukraine could lead to “serious catastrophes, security crises and instability”. Szijjártó said the world was “bigger than Europe”, adding that the global majority wanted peace. “We, therefore, mustn’t believe the mainstream liberal political and media sphere of the transatlantic world, because they’re trying to convince us that the rest of the world agrees with what we in the transatlantic region say, hear or want to say and want to hear,” he added. But he said though the pro-peace side was under “constant pressure” from those who were “pro-war”, there was not a single Foreign Affairs Council meeting where at least some of his counterparts did not ask him in private to be “tough” on his stance. “So that’s the situation that we’re in, but this shouldn’t discourage us from looking at this whole thing from a Hungarian perspective,” Minister Szijjártó said.