Brussels cannot accept that Hungarians have made their own decision on their future and that Hungary is governed by a successful right-wing Christian Democratic government, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Sunday, assessing this week’s visit by a delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control to Budapest.
Speaking to public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió, Szijjártó said the delegation had comprised people “suffering from hungarophobia” who “can’t stand Hungary and don’t believe that Hungarians are capable of making mature, adult decisions on the future of their country”. “What’s more, the members of the delegation tried to interfere in matters constituting Hungary’s sovereignty,” he added. Concerning Hungary’s European Union funds, Szijjártó said he believed his fellow ministers would be successful in their talks aimed at unlocking the monies. He added, at the same time, that the talks were not easy “given that international, liberal, mainstream Brussels can’t accept that Hungarians have made their own decision on their future, and that the people have chosen to have a right-wing, nationally minded, patriotic Christian Democratic government in Budapest which is successful despite the external efforts to put pressure on it”.
It must be made clear that decisions on Hungary’s future can only be made by Hungarians, not Brussels, Szijjártó said. Asked about reports that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had proposed to Ukraine that it shut down the Druzhba pipeline, Szijjártó said Hungary had received no explanation regarding the reports from Kyiv. The minister added that he believed that the matter was one which the EC president should comment on publicly, arguing that energy supply security was a matter of sovereignty, and an attempt to stymie it could be considered “an attack against the given country’s sovereignty”.
Szijjártó said there were clear international treaties stipulating how oil is to be delivered through Ukraine. If that is rendered impossible, it will be physically impossible to ensure Hungary’s oil supply, he said, noting that the capacity of the pipeline connecting to Hungary from Croatia was much lower than the combined oil needs of Hungary, Slovakia and partially Czechia. Meanwhile, Szijjártó said that Croatia had taken advantage of the war and “shamelessly” raised the transit fee to several times the European market level, as had Ukraine.
Hungarians had already been paying a very high price for the war which is not their war and whose outbreak they had nothing to do with, the minister said. Hungarians therefore rightfully expect not to be made to pay the even greater price of the war, he added. Concerning Ukraine’s potential EU accession, Szijjártó said Hungary would only support it if it saw that the guarantees of ensuring the rights of the local ethnic Hungarian minority were enforced, meaning that Transcarpathian Hungarians regained their former rights. Szijjártó said it was “unacceptable” and “scandalous” that Ukraine had added Hungary’s OTP Bank to its list of “international sponsors of war”, stressing that OTP abided by every regulation.
He said Hungary was expected to come under intense pressure in the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday not to insist that OTP be removed from the list when discussing the next sanctions package and as a condition for increasing the EU’s peace funds.