Foreign Minister criticizes Tusk's remarks on Hungarian government’s stance on Ukraine war

The foreign minister said Hungary is a sovereign country, “regardless of whether Donald Tusk likes it or not”.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has criticized Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk's recent remarks on the Hungarian government’s stance on the war in Ukraine. The foreign minister said Hungary is a sovereign country, “regardless of whether Donald Tusk likes it or not”.

According to a ministry statement, Minister Szijjártó said that during his visit to Kyiv, Tusk had shown “a complete lack of respect by attacking” the Hungarian government’s position. Tusk, Minister Szijjártó said, had “accused our country of betraying Europe, being un-European, talking about the darkest place of political hell”. “We have now, of course, seen and are seeing the developments of the last few weeks in Poland, and we can see the Polish prime minister’s concept of democracy,” Szijjártó said. “We see that they don’t tolerate views that differ from those … of the government in any way.” “But as it stands, we really do have to ask: what sort of behaviour is this in Europe?” the minister said. “What kind of behaviour is it to only accept the existence of a single opinion? What kind of behaviour is it to be intolerant … of other opinions on a given issue?” Szijjártó said the principle that people cannot be sanctioned for having different opinions was a fundamental European value. In a message to Tusk, Szijjártó said that in Europe everyone had a right to their opinion and to represent their position, for which they could not be sanctioned, labelled “un-European” or imprisoned. Meanwhile, he said it was clear that the war could not be resolved on the battlefield. He added that Hungary therefore would remain in favour of peace, and he called for an urgent ceasefire and peace talks. “Hungary is a sovereign country that has a right to represent its opinion,” the minister said. “We insist on the need for peace in Ukraine as soon as possible, even if Donald Tusk holds a different opinion and represents a pro-war stance.”