- 15 Nov 2023 7:13 AM
- Hungary Matters
In a statement on the sidelines of a meeting of EU defence ministers, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky lamented that member states had not changed their stance on the issue, and continue to discuss weapons deliveries to Ukraine.
Hungary is committed to promoting an immediate ceasefire and peace talks, he said. The Hungarian government does not support Ukraine’s continued funding “as they could barely be convinced to remove one of the largest Hungarian banks from their blacklist.”
The ministers also discussed the situation in the Sahel, an issue with a direct bearing on Hungary’s security, he said. Parliament adopted a package of aid last week, which includes military aid in the region, he said.
Another important region is the Western Balkans, one of the most important routes of migration into Europe, he said. Its stability is also directly connected to that of Hungary, he added.
Szalay-Bobrovniczky also hailed that Hungary has been tapped to take over command of the EU’s military mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a “great step forward”. “Peace requires strength. We will continue to work,” he said.
More than 8.000 Ukranian Citizens Enter Hungary on Monday
Fully 4,852 Ukrainian citizens entered Hungary at the Ukraine-Hungary border on Monday, while 3,741 came to the country via Romania, according to the national police headquarters (ORFK).
Police issued temporary residence permits valid for 30 days to 60 people, ORFK said.
Szijjártó: EU Should Evaluate Its Policy 'Failure' Instead of Adopting 12th Sanctions Package
Rather than adopting a 12th sanctions package against Russia, the European Union should evaluate the “failure” of the policy it has pursued and the damage caused by the sanctions it has imposed so far, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Brussels.
Addressing a news conference during a break in a meeting of EU foreign ministers, Szijjártó said Monday’s meeting had also been attended by his Ukrainian counterpart via a video call, to seek more support for Ukraine’s fight.
Hungary’s stance is that it is time for the EU to confront the outcome of its political decisions on Ukraine, Szijjártó said, according to a ministry statement.
The EU, he said, should assess the extent to which its policies had achieved their intended goals, as well as their impacts on the bloc and its foreign relations, the member states, Russia and Ukraine.
“If we took a look at what this enormous financial support of more than 80 billion euros has been spent on so far … we’d see that only a small fraction of the goals of these decisions can be said to have been achieved,” Szijjártó said.
“The fact is that the sanctions have, at the very least, shot the European economy in the foot…” he said. “It has also become clear that this war can’t be resolved on the battlefield, because there are only casualties and destruction there. And it’s also clear that the hopes of a breakthrough success for the Ukrainian counter-offensive have by today become an illusion.”
Szijjártó said the EU will this week put forward a proposal on its 12th package of sanctions. “I think it’s totally fair to ask how we can have a meaningful debate on a 12th sanctions package when there hasn’t been any kind of comprehensive analysis on the first 11 packages,” the minister said.
He said Brussels and certain member states were not prepared to confront the damage the sanctions had done to the European economy and how they had failed to fulfil their purpose.
The sanctions have failed to achieve their main goals of bringing the Russian economy to its knees and bringing about peace, he said. “And we also don’t see a possibility for a meaningful debate on transferring tens of billions of euros more to Ukraine when the EU and its member states haven’t received any kind of briefing or account of how the 80 billion euros approved so far has been spent,” he added.
Szijjártó: Govt Continues to Reject EU Funding of Weapon Deliveries to Ukraine
The government continues to reject European Union financing for weapon deliveries to Ukraine, and will do so until it is guaranteed that Ukraine “will never again use trumped-up accusations to put another Hungarian company on its list of sponsors of the war”, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Brussels.
Szijjártó told a press conference in the break of an EU foreign ministers’ meeting that “there has been enormous pressure” on Hungary to agree to another 500 million euro payment from the European Peace Facility for weapon deliveries to Ukraine.
“Some called [the Hungarian stance] unfair, others said it was scandalous … but I asked my EU colleagues not to mislead the public,” he said.
“This isn’t support for Ukraine. This 500 million euros would help member states which decided to deliver weapons there as sovereign countries to recover part of the price of those weapons,” he said.
“Hungary will not contribute to paying 1,500 million euros until the Ukrainian anti-corruption agency guarantees that Hungarian companies … will not land on the list of sponsors of the war based on unfounded and sometimes ridiculous charges,” he said.
Regarding Ukraine’s EU candidacy, Szijjártó said the country was “very far from fulfilling the requirements and even from any sort of progress”. On the issue of minority rights, a priority in the EU, Ukraine has been backsliding, he said.
“We have had reports that the Ukrainian education ministry had instructed schools that teachers and students should use the official language, Ukrainian, even during breaks.”
The government sees no reason to advance Ukraine’s candidacy, he said. “Besides, the European Union should take peace to third countries rather than importing war into the bloc,” he said.
Szijjártó said he expected mounting pressure on the issue. “I think it is particularly cynical on Ukraine’s part that they’re obviously not even trying to solve the issues important to us … They are expecting Hungarians to cave under the growing pressure,” he said.