Moscow (MTI) – The Hungarian people deserve to know if there are any non-governmental organisations in the country that are financed from abroad, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in an interview to the English-language state-owned Russia Today.
Asked about recent comments from government officials that civil groups supported by Hungarian-born American financier George Soros need to be “swept out” of the country, Szijjártó said in the interview broadcast on Monday an “unfair and unjust approach [is] being spread” that NGOs represent the interests of the people of a given country. This is “a very dangerous approach,” Szijjártó said, arguing that NGOs had never been elected to represent the people, and that it was parliament and government that had a mandate to represent voters.
The minister also said there was a clear demand for politics to be transparent. He argued that in this case transparency should be demanded of all organisations that influence public affairs, including NGOs, “because the people have a right to know whom these NGOs, whom these organisations actually represent.” He said that if there were civil groups in Hungary “financed by foreign citizens, by other countries, by other governments, then it should be known to the people.”
Szijjártó said the Hungarian government was aware that Soros was funding a number of civil groups, noting that the financier had spoken openly about wanting the government to “fail … because he doesn’t like our approach, doesn’t like our policies.” But it is not Soros but rather the Hungarian people that gets to decide what kind of government leads Hungary, Szijjártó insisted.
The minister also spoke about US-Hungarian political ties. He expressed hope that political relations between the two countries would improve under the Trump administration, pointing out that the two government’s views on the role of foreign policy were similar.
On the topic of European Union sanctions against Russia, Szijjártó expressed hope that the US and Russia would soon start engaging in more pragmatic and rational cooperation and that in turn, the EU would change its approach as well.
Source: MTI/Russian Today