The foreign minister said Hungary sees the European Union’s sanctions against persons and institutions in Myanmar and China as “pointless, grandstanding and harmful".
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said such strategic decisions were “particularly senseless” at a time when international cooperation was gaining special significance as “a tool to save lives rather than [introducing] austerity measures”. The sanctions will further poison EU-China ties, relations the former could profit from greatly “if cooperation could be based on rational thinking,” Minister Szijjártó said.
The minister said EU approved sanctions against 11 Myanmar citizens and four legal entities registered there in response to their role in the Feb. 1 coup in the country and in the bloody repercussions against demonstrations there. The sanctions list also contains four Chinese citizens.
Meanwhile, regarding the Cotonou Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), Minister Szijjártó said it has “become a pro-migration agreement aimed at increasing migration pressure on the bloc’s member states.”
Minister Szijjártó said the agreement, which is being extended after its expiration in December 2020, “completely ignores the new reality that millions of people have lost their jobs in Europe”. “Now is not the time to inspire people from the [ACP] region to come to Europe,” he said. The EU’s priority should be to tackle the challenges closer to home and to create jobs for everyone who have lost theirs due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter