Because peace is the only solution to the triple economic, energy and food crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, Hungary and Bangladesh are both part of the “pro-peace majority”, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Budapest on Friday.
Though Hungary and Bangladesh are far apart geographically, they face the same major challenges because of the war, Szijjártó told a joint press conference with Tipu Munshi, Bangladesh’s commerce minister, according to a ministry statement. The triple economic, energy and food supply crisis affects the entire world, and Bangladesh, too, faces serious challenges due to the war and the sanctions imposed in response to it, the minister said. These challenges can only be overcome by achieving peace in Ukraine as soon as possible, Szijjártó said, adding this was another reason why both Hungary and Bangladesh were part of the “global pro-peace majority”.
The armed conflict has triggered an energy supply crisis worldwide, meaning that countries that can produce as much of their own energy as possible are the most secure, he said. Hungary and Bangladesh are building nuclear power plants with the same technology with a view to ensuring their independence from the price increases on the international energy market and thereby strengthening their sovereignty, Szijjártó said. The two countries have elevated their nuclear cooperation to the strategic level and have agreed to share with each other their experiences in the construction and operation of their nuclear plants, he said. They have also signed a comprehensive training agreement as part of which 30 Bangladeshi students a year can study nuclear engineering in Hungary, the minister added.
Nuclear energy is cheap, clean and safe, Szijjártó said, adding that Hungary was committed to building its nuclear plant. Any European attempt aimed at thwarting the Paks upgrade project is seen as “an attack on our sovereignty”, he added. “We therefore call on our European friends to refrain from imposing sanctions on Hungary’s nuclear investment project,” Szijjártó said. “We will consider any proposal to sanction the nuclear industry an anti-Hungary proposal and we will veto it.” Szijjártó called on the European Commission to approve the modified construction and financing contracts of the Paks project as soon as possible, saying they were fully in line with EU regulations.
Concerning bilateral ties, Szijjártó hailed Hungary and Bangladesh’s relations as reliable and predictable. Bilateral trade turnover reached a new record last year, boosted by demand for Hungarian pharmaceuticals and Bangladeshi clothing, he said. Szijjártó said Hungary and Bangladesh had finalised the text of an economic cooperation agreement and had reached a deal on a double taxation avoidance treaty. Meanwhile, he said that a record 1,643 Bangladeshi students had applied for 140 scholarships available to enroll at Hungarian universities this year.
War is a big business. Too many rich and powerful people stand to lose too much skrilla from peace. I mean, you’re talking about people and corporations who’ll buy entire governments and who’ll flat out lie to hundreds of millions of people to justify a war. (Watch the movie “Wag the Dog” – entertaining, yes, but also instructive, and don’t think it’s pure fiction!)
Russia is making big business from war. All those Putin connected friends with arms factories in Russia are making “a killing.”
Who started the war? If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting – they lose their country, sovereignty, freedom. And we potentially sprout a new neighbour.
For all Mr. Szijjártó’s talk of “peace”, I have yet to hear any plan, startegy or proposal. Anything. Just this incessant “Peace!” mantra. And that the world should not be supplying Ukraine with weapons. I welcome any comments – maybe I messed something. Very curious.