EU 'Preparing for World War', Reveals Hungarian Foreign Minister

  • 23 Apr 2024 11:31 AM
  • Hungary Matters
EU 'Preparing for World War', Reveals Hungarian Foreign Minister
Decision-makers in Brussels "are preparing for a world war" in response to the deteriorating military situation in Ukraine, despite the "failure of the strategy of weapon deliveries", the minister of foreign affairs and trade has said.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg, Péter Szijjártó said Ukraine was increasingly on the back foot in the war against Russia, which he said had prompted a “dangerous response” in Brussels: “a desperate empty-the-warehouse approach”, where almost everyone discussed a future of weapon deliveries.

“We are talking about hundreds of thousands or millions of ammunition and weapons worth billions of euros, even though we know that strategy has failed miserably in the past few years,” he said.

“Weapon deliveries have not brought peace closer; on the contrary … weapon deliveries can only prolong the war and increase the threat of it escalating into a world war,” Szijjarto said.

Hungary has arrived at a different conclusion, to the concept that the peace efforts should be strengthened and diplomacy should take the place of weapon deliveries, he said.

“We Hungarians are ready to discuss peace plans. At the same time, we must make it clear that peace conferences can only be successful if all warring parties are at the table,” he said.

 Szijjártó: Hungary to Come Under Renewed Pressure

As the EU is starting to prepare the 14th sanctions package against Russia, Péter Szijjártó said he expected pressure on Hungary to be ramped up, too. At the same time, the foreign minister said previous sanctions had caused more damage to Europe than to Russia, and that European citizens had been the ones to pay the price, including Hungarians who had nothing to do with the war.

“Once again, I made it clear that no matter the pressure brought to bear, we will not support a single sanction that would have Hungarians pay the price of war.”

He said the root of the fundamental difference of opinion was that politicians “in Brussels and many other capital cities” thought of the war as their own.

“I think that is not only dangerous but also false, as Europe is not at war. Europe has not been attacked. No EU or NATO member state has been attacked,” he said.

Hungary continues to see the situation differently and prioritises staying out of the conflict, he added. Besides, he said, the EU had been gripped by a “bidding war” as the bloc was trying to outbid the US and NATO.

Regarding the situation in the Middle East, he said a consensus was on the horizon on sanctions against Iran in response to the recent attack on Israel.

He welcomed the “responsible” conduct of Arab states, and called for the maintenance of regional stability and the avoidance of conflict escalation.

Responding a question about a Hungarian-Israeli national in Hamas captivity, Szijjarto said that the hostage was — according to reports received “a few weeks ago” — still alive.

Szijjártó: 'Witch Hunt' Against Hungarian Companies Ongoing in Ukraine

The “witch hunt” against Hungarian companies in Ukraine is ongoing as authorities were preparing to withdraw the permits of a dozen pharmaceuticals sold by Hungarian pharmaceutical company Richter, the Hungarian minister of foreign affairs and trade said.

Péter Szijjártó told a press conference on the sidelines of the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg that the bloc was “preparing for a world war” and putting enormous pressure on Hungary in the process.

Besides the 500 million in aid to Ukraine, “which Hungary blocked”, the EU was planning to fund member states’ weapon deliveries with another 1.5 billion euros from the European Peace Facility, he said.

“Hungary’s stance is unchanged and clear: until we receive a guarantee from the Ukrainian side that they will end the witch hunt against Hungarian companies active in Ukraine — and will not restart it — we cannot contribute to such decisions,” he said.

Noting that Ukraine had earlier black-listed OTP Bank as an international sponsor of the war, Szijjártó said discrimination against Hungarian companies was unacceptable and the procedures were unfounded.

“Just as the OTP issue seems to be solved”, Kyiv is preparing to withdraw permits on the sale of Richter’s 14 pharmaceuticals in the country, he said. That procedure was similarly unfounded, he said.

“Richter has not breached any rules or sanctions in Ukraine … conducting operations in Russia does not violate any laws. The pharmaceutical industry is not in any way under sanctions.”

The minister noted that when they asked Ukrainian government to remove OTP from the list, they were told the matter was independent of politics. Later, the government decided to scrap the list altogether, which “dented” the argument’s credibility, he said.

Szijjártó said that since it appeared that a political decision had been made rather than a professional one, the danger of a similar measure being repeated was real.

“That’s why we have asked our Ukrainian colleagues to … come to Budapest, sit down and work out a solution… So far, the Ukrainian anti-corruption agency has not responded positively to our invitation. We are still waiting for them in Budapest, our colleagues are ready, so it is not up to us whether such an agreement is reached or not,” he added.


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