FM: Sanctions should not endanger Hungary’s energy supply

The foreign minister said Hungary considers it a priority to maintain European unity and always took part in common European decision making.

The foreign minister said that as it is inadmissible that Hungarians should pay the price of the ongoing war, the Hungarian government will initiate further talks if it finds the latest package of sanctions endangering the country’s energy supply.

Speaking on Kossuth Radio on Sunday, Péter Szijjártó said Hungary considers it a priority to maintain European unity and always took part in common European decision making, adding that no hasty decisions should be made and that there is a pressing need for calm and soberness. There cannot be European unity if sanctions endanger smooth energy supplies, he said. Hungary was right to “make its red lines clear”, Minister Szijjártó said, adding that several countries share the position that sanctions should not jeopardise energy supply. The minister noted that the European Commission had put forward its sixth proposal for sanctions on Saturday.
Hungary’s ministries and energy providers in charge are analysing the package, he added.

Over the past few days the situation has deteriorated in Ukraine, with thousands of people falling victim to the hostilities, Minister Szijjártó said. The latest developments highlight the government’s responsibility not to let Hungary get dragged into the war in any form, he said. “We should guarantee the security of Hungary and its inhabitants. This is why we decided not to send either soldiers or weapons to this war,” Minister Szijjártó said. The government has also made it clear that it will not allow transports of weapons to cross its territory to Ukraine, he said. The minister welcomed that the European Union would get involved in ceasefire talks, noting that Europe has made major efforts to help restore peace. Minister Szijjártó emphasized that the channels of communication should remain open as peace can only be reached through negotiations.

“Our Turkish friends have accomplished a feat” by bringing together the Russian and the Ukrainian foreign ministers, Minister Szijjártó said. No one could expect a breakthrough in their meeting but fortunately the two sides did not rule out the chance of another round of talks. All meetings like that are hopefully bringing the two sides closer “to putting an end to senseless bloodshed”, the minister said. Asked about who should be blamed for the outbreak of war, Minister Szijjártó said, “now it is time for restoring peace. The time for reasoning and analysing former measures will only arrive if there is peace in our neighborhood.”

Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter