Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the international community should favor measures that help bring about peace in Ukraine instead of those that risk escalating the conflict.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia on Monday, the foreign minister said the armed conflict has a severely negative impact on the entirety of Europe in areas like the economy and energy supply. “Since we are physically and geographically close to the war and in its neighbourhood, its impact on us is more severe than its average impact on Europe,” Minister Szijjártó said. “Achieving peace as soon as possible is therefore in our fundamental interest here in Hungary and central Europe.” “We urge the international community to prioritise measures and decisions that help bring about peace, and we want aspirations that risk the escalation, continuation or — God forbid — the spread of the war beyond Ukraine to take a back seat,” he said. Minister Szijjártó said the Hungarian government was sticking to its decision not to send weapons to Ukraine or allow the transit of weapons deliveries through its territory into Ukraine and would not even discuss potential energy sanctions. He said the sanctions imposed on Russia would not contribute to a swift resolution of the conflict and would hurt Europe a lot more than they hurt Russia. The focus, he said, should be on achieving peace as soon as possible, adding that this required direct dialogue between the warring sides. He suggested that respected countries and international players should play a mediating role between Ukraine and Russia. “Because if the policy of sanctions continues, if the developments continue to point in the direction of escalation, this will have a very harmful effect on central Europe, and we want to avoid that,” Minister Szijjártó said.