Hungary and France both want peace in Ukraine, but differ on the tactical steps that could make it happen, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Paris on Tuesday.
As a neighbour of Ukraine, Hungary is confronted by the dramatic effects of the armed conflict on a daily basis, and its interests therefore lie in an immediate ceasefire and peace talks, Szijjártó said after meeting his French counterpart, Catherine Colonna, according to a ministry statement. France’s position on this differs from that of Hungary the way almost every other European country’s position differs from Hungary’s, Szijjártó said, adding that there was an expectation that Ukraine may eventually be in a better position in the war to conduct negotiations.
“We don’t believe in this; we think that it is time to end the suffering of the people,” he said. Szijjártó said he and Colonna were in agreement on almost every other strategic non-European Union issue. One example, he said, was the matter of nuclear energy. He noted that both Hungary and France had successfully pushed the EU to label nuclear energy as sustainable.
Szijjártó noted that the control system for the new reactor blocks of Hungary’s Paks nuclear power plant is being supplied by a German-French consortium, and whereas Paris had approved the necessary permits for the system, Berlin had yet to do so.
He said it was regrettable that certain German ministers were blocking the participation of Siemens Energy in the Paks upgrade project. He added that every country determined its energy mix in accordance with its national interests. “The Germans are now questioning this right and by . blocking the permit, they are endangering our long-term energy security, which is unacceptable,” Szijjártó said. He said plans were being devised with Siemens Energy’s French partner, Framatome, to prevent delays in the project in case the German government sticks to its position.
Szijjártó also touched on security in Africa, saying Budapest and Paris were in agreement that the starting point for Europe’s security was in Africa. “The protection of Europe, the fight against terrorism and the prevention of migration starts in Africa,” he said. Hungary is prepared to undertake joint military missions with France as it already has in Mali, he added. He also noted France’s participation in Hungary’s space programme.
Meanwhile, he said French companies were the fifth largest investor community in Hungary, adding that bilateral trade turnover had reached a record high last year, exceeding 10 billion euros.
This is the same Mr. Szijjártó, recipient of the Russian Order of Friendship (from now infamous Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov), who has been recommending for the past full year Ukraine sue for peace at any price?
The Hungarian Foreign minister called the US Ambassador’s recent negative comments about Hungary as “irrelevant.” Hungary needs to realize that its constant calls for peace are also irrelevant. When it comes to the ultimate outcome of the Russia vs Ukraine war Hungary is irrelevant. The continued calls for “peace” every time a new Russian attack occurs does not make Hungary look good on the world stage. There cannot be peace or neutrality in face of aggression. Hungary will find itself more and more isolated from the EU, the US, NATO and its neighbors.
Germany in a sovereign country, acting in their own best interest. Just the way we like it. Unless we are on the receiving end?