The foreign minister said Hungary will not veto European Union sanctions related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, added that the country stands by and takes part in shaping the European Union’s common stance. Speaking from Budapest Airport before visiting Egypt and Bahrain as head of a delegation of 70 Hungarian companies, Minister Szijjártó said the past few days had brought developments in the conflict that were contrary to the security interests of “Hungary, central Europe, and indeed the whole of Europe”. In a video posted on Facebook, the minister said that Hungary firmly backed Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty “as we always have, and we will not break ranks regarding the [EU] response…” Minister Szijjártó said that central Europe and Hungary had a vested interest in maintaining peace and avoiding war.
The minister added that the deteriorating security situation had brought about “a serious disinformation and fake news campaign … and, in that regard, Western news media are barely better than their Eastern counterparts.” He insisted Hungary’s stance had been misrepresented in both. Despite all reports to the contrary in eastern and western outlets, Hungary shared the EU’s stance, he said. The permanent representatives of member states to the EU held a meeting on Tuesday, alongside an informal meeting of the foreign affairs council, Minister Szijjártó said. The EU ambassadors will meet again later on Wednesday to finalise the sanctions the EU is imposing in response to the developments in eastern Europe in the past few days, he said. “We Hungarians who live in the region are clinging to hope beyond hope that a solution of one kind or another can be found through diplomacy, and we ask the players on the world stage who have a role here to not give up the hope of, and opportunity for, dialogue,” he said. Until the last channels of communication are closed, Hungary will hope for a peaceful solution, he said.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter