Speaking in Brussels on Monday, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary has a national security interest in preserving long-term peace, and calls on all parties to maintain the dialogue between all parties involved in the eastern European conflict. “All big players of world politics should return to the negotiating table rather than resort to provocation, messages and shows of strength,” Minister Szijjártó said. The minister expressed hope that after a meeting scheduled to take place between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Geneva this week, the US and Russian presidents will also meet. “Hungary sees that as the only solution, the only hope,” he said. Hungary is complying with Ukraine’s wishes and keeps its embassy in Kiev and two consulates in Transcarpathia running with full staff, Minister Szijjártó said. Despite ongoing differences, Hungary also sent another 120 ventilators to Ukraine this morning, he said.
Regarding the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Minister Szijjártó said a stable and peaceful Western Balkan region was a national security interest for Hungary, and called for continued dialogue instead of imposing sanctions. Referring to talks with Milorad Dodik, Bosnia’s Serbian leader, last weekend, Minister Szijjártó said they had agreed that Bosnia and Herzegovina should maintain its territorial integrity. “Threats of sanctions against Dodik from certain friends and allies of Hungary do not contribute to peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said. Hungary believes that the threat of sanctions in the Western Balkans is counter-productive, Minister Szijjártó said. Sanctions lead to tensions instead of peace and only deepen conflicts, the minister said, adding that Hungary was asking all its allies and friends to favour dialogue over restrictive measures. The EU foreign ministers meeting on Monday made no steps towards sanctions, Minister Szijjártó said. “Everything apart from dialogue and diplomacy reduces our chances to find a solution,” he said.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter