“We already have NATO troops on the territory of the country, which is the Hungarian army. And the Hungarian armed forces are in proper shape to guarantee the security of the country. So, we do not need additional troops on the territory of Hungary,” the minister of foreign affairs told Euronews in Lyon.
According to Euronews, he said Hungary had ongoing NATO cooperations. The interviewer asked the minister of foreign affairs whether Hungary was closer to the EU and NATO or Russia in the current crisis in Ukraine.
“Come on. We are a member of NATO and the European Union. But once again, I want to underline that the Hungarian armed forces are in proper shape to guarantee the security of the country,” Szijjártó replied. The question of whether to accept more troops or not would only be viable if the Hungarian armed forces were in bad shape, he added.
“In this case, it does not make sense since we can protect ourselves,”
Péter Szijjártó highlighted.
He also stated that Hungary does not support further EU sanctions against Russia. Szijjártó said that sanctions do not work. For example, the trade volume between Russia and Germany or France increased during the sanction period. Therefore, he urged an honest analysis of the issue.
He said that
Budapest would like to evade bad options and find a diplomatic solution.
He added that Hungary did not veto the sanctions against Russia in Brussels because they did not want to break European unity. He also said that the Hungarian government believes in President Putin’s statement about not seeking a war in Ukraine. “The more discussions and meetings we have, the better,” he added.
In our former article, we reported on the discussions to deploy troops to Eastern European NATO countries to show support amidst the current threat of Russia invading Ukraine. Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary were considering accepting the incoming troops then. However, not all NATO members approved the idea initiated by the United States and the United Kingdom, among other countries.
Péter Szijjártó stated at the time that it is in Hungary’s interest for Ukraine to be a strong and stable state. At the same time, according to the minister, it is also in Hungary’s interest that Ukraine
stops its anti-Hungarian politics.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Szijjártó inaugurated a Hungarian consular office in Lyon on Wednesday. He said that the new consulate will facilitate that some 20,000 Hungarians living in the region could participate in Hungary’s upcoming parliamentary election. Hungary used to have a consulate in Lyon from 1987 on, but the previous, Socialist government “closed it down in a big wave of such closures,” Szijjártó said, adding that the incumbent government had reopened most of those facilities since then, increasing the number of Hungarian representation worldwide to over 130.
“You cannot make foreign policy, convince investors, capture export markets, and represent the interest of Hungarians (abroad) sitting in Budapest,”
24.hu reported that though no additional NATO troops would come to Hungary, military convoys would go through the country. They will enter from Slovakia and depart towards Romania carrying equipment and people.
Here is a segment of Szijjártó’s interview with Euronews about accepting more NATO troops:
Source: Euronews, DNH