The Russia-Ukraine war is “not Hungary’s war”, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said after talks with NATO counterparts in Bratislava on Thursday. The Hungarian government will do everything it can to protect Hungarians from the conflict, he said.
Hungary is sticking to its policy of not sending weapons to Ukraine or allowing the transit of lethal aid across its territory, while opposing sanctions on Russian oil and gas, Szijjártó said. The foreign ministers of the Bucharest Nine countries — Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary — condemned the military aggression at the meeting, stating that they wanted to live in peace, Szijjártó said.
Szijjártó told his counterparts about
“an agreement between Hungary’s left wing and Ukraine”
which, he insisted, entailed weapons being sent to Ukraine if it won Sunday’s general election. “This is unacceptable and runs contrary to the interests of the Hungarian people and the country’s security,” he said, adding that the transport of weapons would risk Hungary being dragged into the war.
While “it is in Ukraine’s interest that Hungary should have a left-wing government that sends weapons”, Hungary must ensure security for its people, the minister said.
Szijjártó said there was a “strong pressure” on the European Union to impose sanctions on Russian oil and gas imports, and he was “aware that the Hungarian left wing would support those sanctions”, but this was a “red line” for the government, he added, as such sanctions could seriously jeopardise Hungary’s energy supplies and its economy.
The minister also said Hungary was implementing
“the largest aid programme in its history”
in which several hundred tonnes of food and toiletry products have been sent to Ukraine and 548,000 refugees have been accommodated in Hungary.
Hungary respects the decision of countries that send weapons to Ukraine, but in turn it expects them to respect its decision against facilitating such transports itself, Szijjártó said.