The foreign minister said Hungary has so far provided hospital treatment for 131 refugee children from Ukraine. Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told a session of the United Nations Security Council in New York. The Hungarian authorities are providing care for all refugees arriving in Hungary and ensuring a secure environment for international humanitarian organisations, Szijjártó said in his address.
As a neighboring country of Ukraine, the foreign minister said Hungary was fully aware of the “tragic consequences” of the war. “And we are not only aware of the consequences, but faced by challenges caused by the consequences as well.” Because the war posed a direct security risk to Hungary, he said, guarantees were needed that the country would not be dragged into the conflict. He said that no matter how strongly Hungary was criticised, the Hungarian government put the country’s security interest first.
Minister Szijjártó said Ukraine faced a serious humanitarian disaster, with more than half a million people having fled to Hungary where all refugees were taken in and looked after. Those who choose to stay for a longer period will be given work so that they are not forced to live off welfare benefits, the minister said. He said it was heart-breaking to see families that had been torn apart, noting that men are not allowed to leave Ukraine because they are subject to conscription. Hungary is providing care to all refugees, he said, adding that children are given hospital treatment if necessary. Citing fresh data, Szijjártó said 131 children have been treated in hospital so far.
Minister Szijjártó emphasized the importance of making sure that the war does not spread beyond Ukraine. He said there were “some dangerous proposals on the agendas of international organizations”, such as enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine or sending peacekeeping missions to the country. Such steps, however, would only escalate the conflict, “and this is something that we definitely have to avoid”, he said.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter