In an interview published by Magyar Nemzet on Saturday, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the Russia-Ukraine war “won’t end anytime soon” as there “isn’t a trace” of negotiations.
Minister Szijjártó reiterated that the government’s most important tasks are ensuring Hungary’s security and preventing the country from being dragged into the war. He pointed to “extraordinary difficulties” facing the European economy amid the environment of persistent inflation resulting from the war, the impact of sanctions and the dramatic rise in energy prices. He said uncertainty in energy markets has affected foreign exchange markets, too. As long as there’s no peace, sentiment in the European economic environment will not be positive, he said.
Addressing Hungary’s ties with Ukraine, Minister Szijjártó said differences over the rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine had been “temporarily shelved” because of the wartime circumstances, but he added that the issue will need to be resolved at some point. He said “shameless accusations” against Hungary are “unfair” and “must be firmly rejected”. Minister Szijjártó said Hungary has condemned the aggression against Ukraine, while undertaking a humanitarian campaign of unprecedented scale, taking in over 830,000 refugees. “We’re not doing that for thanks, we’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do,” he added.
Commenting on a recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union finding Lithuania violated EU rules when it defended its border with Belarus against illegal migration, Minister Szijjártó said Brussels’ immigration policy would “inspire” the arrival of more and more migrants in Europe. Minister Szijjártó said the war had put cooperation among the Visegrad Group – Hungary, Czechia, Poland and Slovakia – as well as between Hungary and Poland “to the test”. He added that there had always been issues on which viewpoints differ, but areas on which there was agreement were always strengthened. Interpretations in the West that these differences spell the end of the Visegrad cooperation are “ridiculous”, he said.
Photo credit: Magyar Nemzet / Kurucz Árpád