Hungary will not veto European Union sanctions related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday, adding that the country stands by and takes part in shaping the European Union’s common stance.
Speaking from the Liszt Ferenc International Airport before visiting Egypt and Bahrein as head of a delegation of 70 Hungarian companies, Szijjártó said the past few days had brought developments in the conflict that were contrary to the security interests of “Hungary, central Europe, and indeed the whole of Europe”.
In a video posted on Facebook, the minister said that
Hungary firmly backed Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty “as we always have, and we will not break ranks regarding the [EU] response…”
Szijjártó said that central Europe and Hungary had a vested interest in maintaining peace and avoiding war.
The deteriorating security situation, he added, had brought about “a serious disinformation and fake news campaign … and, in that regard, Western news media are barely better than their Eastern counterparts.” He insisted Hungary’s stance had been misrepresented in both.
Despite all reports to the contrary in eastern and western outlets, Hungary shared the EU’s stance, he said.
The permanent representatives of member states to the EU held a meeting on Tuesday, alongside an informal meeting of the foreign affairs council, Szijjártó said. The EU ambassadors will meet again later on Wednesday to finalise the sanctions the EU is imposing in response to the developments in eastern Europe in the past few days, he said.
“We Hungarians who live in the region are clinging to hope beyond hope that a solution of one kind or another can be found through diplomacy, and we ask the players on the world stage who have a role here to not give up the hope of, and opportunity for, dialogue,”
he said. Until the last channels of communication are closed, Hungary will hope for a peaceful solution, he said.
Zoltán Kovács, the state secretary for international communication and relations, said on Twitter on Tuesday that
reports by British daily The Guardian and other news outlets claiming Hungary would resist efforts at a common EU position on Ukraine were fake news.
He added that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had said “Hungary shares the common EU position – high level and intensive talks are ongoing”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter on Tuesday that phone conversations with partners continued.
“Briefed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on the security situation in the region. We agreed to make joint efforts for a peaceful settlement,” he added.
As we wrote few days ago, a Hungarian-Russian railway joint venture will be established this spring, enabling 1,000 Chinese freight trains to transit Hungary to western Europe each year, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Facebook, details HERE.