The foreign minister has said that instead of ratcheting up war rhetoric and risking escalating the conflict in Ukraine, the international community should focus on creating peace, adding: "Dialogue is needed as soon as possible."
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, welcomed the fact that the UN Security Council was holding a meeting and a “timely” debate on how to create and keep the peace, but the minister lamented how “peace is rarely spoken about, and those who do speak about it are criticized and stigmatised”. Given its close proximity, Hungarians are acutely aware of the war’s effects and severity, he said, noting that one million refugees had departed Ukraine through Hungary. Also, the war and “failed” sanctions have increased the cost of Hungary’s energy imports to 17 billion euros from 7 billion, he added. The minister noted that Hungarians living in Transcarpathia, in western Ukraine, were being conscripted into the Ukrainian army, and many were dying, “sometimes brutally”. Besides the untold suffering, European countries must contend with ever-higher inflation and an unclear future in terms of their energy supply, so the international community — big and powerful countries in particular — has a big responsibility to ensure that peace-making is put on the agenda, he said.