Hungary’s authorities are ready to implement a vaccination campaign as soon as large quantities are delivered, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Monday.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers, Szijjártó said Hungary would not wait for the “centralised Brussels procurement system” to ensure the necessary amount of vaccines, and the country would make its own decisions instead.
“Despite the failure of the Brussels vaccine procurement system, some Brussels bureaucrats are busy attacking countries looking for other sources,”
Szijjártó said, adding that Hungary in in favour of EU cooperation regarding the Russian coronavirus vaccine.
The minister called on the EU to say why its preferred manufacturer delivered more vaccines to the United States, Britain and Israel than to EU countries. Also, he said the EU should say why the AstroZeneca jab distributed in large quantities in the UK was still not approved in Europe.
Meanwhile, concerning Ukraine, Szijjártó expressed hope that bilateral ties would no longer deteriorate and the situation of ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia would improve.
He said the fact that a Hungarian MEP from Transcarpathia had not dared return home for Christmas because she had been threatened by the Ukrainian nationalist organisation Mitrodvorets was “an abnormal situation”. Nor was it normal for the office of Transylvania’s ethnic Hungarian party and the home of its leader to be vandalised on the pretext of house search, he added.
“We’d like to see reassuring progress in Hungarian-Ukrainian relations,” he said.
On the subject of Hungarian-Japanese economic ties, Szijjártó said that Hungary, in line with its policy of opening to the East, had substantially increased its sales to eastern markets. Most investors in Hungary were eastern and brought cutting-edge technologies to the country, Szijjártó said, adding that Japan played a key role in this process.
The minister said that hopefully the EU and the ASEAN Free Trade Area would soon launch meaningful talks on comprehensive interregional economic trade cooperation, which would be to the benefit of the EU, including Hungary.