FM Szijjártó: It is in Hungary’s best interest to see peace in our neighborhood as soon as possible

In an interview with M1 in New York, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó confirmed that he has suggested to his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts that they hold peace talks in Budapest.

“Hungary's interest is to see peace in our neighborhood as soon as possible, to end the war as soon as possible,” Foreign Minister Szijjártó said in an interview broadcast on his Facebook page. According to him, in the last day and a half, there have been reports that the Ukrainians and the Russians might be willing to negotiate with each other. However, the FM added, neither Warsaw nor Minsk was found suitable for the meeting.

“Last night I called Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and I then called the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Andriy Yermak, and I told them that Hungary and Budapest are ready to receive both delegations,” FM Szijjártó said.

Responding to a question about Hungarian casualties so far, FM Szijjártó confirmed with regret that a person with Hungarian nationality was killed in Transcarpathia. “We will of course contact the family there and offer them help at this difficult time,” the foreign minister said.

On the situation at the Hungarian-Ukrainian border, FM Szijjártó said that there are five crossing points on the border between Hungary and Ukraine, and the first reports this morning indicated that since the war started, there has been a very serious flood of refugees.

“We have created the legal basis for accepting refugees: We are allowing third-country nationals lawfully residing in Ukraine to enter Hungary without a visa requirement and we are helping them to get to the first airport from which they can fly, either Debrecen or Budapest,” FM Szijjártó said, adding that Hungary is also providing medical assistance to Ukraine.

Commenting on the groundless claims that Hungary is blocking sanctions against Russia, the foreign minister said that Hungary is not blocking and has never blocked anything. “I would like to say it once again so that everyone understands that, for the umpteenth time, Hungary is not blocking any sanction measures. We have been part of and participated in every single European decision, and this will continue to be the case in the future,” FM Szijjártó concluded.