Contrary to what the world’s liberal political and media sphere says, the global majority, much like Hungary, clearly wants peace in Ukraine as soon as possible, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Budapest on Tuesday.
Europe is facing its most serious security and economic challenges since the second world war, Szijjártó told an international conference organised by Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC), according to a ministry statement. Moreover, the risk of escalation is greater than ever before, while Europeans are in no way responsible for the outbreak of the war, he added.
“The fact that there are European political leaders who suffer from an increasingly worsening war psychosis is another matter,” Szijjártó said. “It also must be made clear that this is not the European people’s war, but all Europeans are paying the price for it.”
He criticised the European Union’s sanctions policy and that the bloc had “allowed the United States to provoke it into a race to see who delivers more weapons to Ukraine”.
The EU has seen a steep fall in its competitiveness, and energy prices are several times higher than in the US and China, the minister said. Meanwhile, he said that while the US Inflation Reduction Act put American businesses at an advantage, “Brussels bureaucracy” was forcing decisions that hurt all European companies.
“What’s more, the war is taking place here and its impact is much stronger in Europe,” he said.
The sanctions that have been introduced have failed to bring Russia to its knees and end the fighting, he said, adding that they had hurt Europe more than they had Russia.
“One year, three months and two weeks after the start of the war, during the debate on the eleventh sanctions package, I think it is clear to everyone, that the sanctions have failed to achieve either of their two goals,” Szijjártó said.
He warned that escalation always had the most serious effect on neighbouring countries, which was why, he said, Hungary was in a particularly difficult situation, not least because Hungarians were also dying in the war.
“And we don’t want more Hungarians do die, just like we don’t want anyone of any other nationality to die in this war,” the minister said.
“That is one of the reasons why we demand an immediate ceasefire and a start to peace talks that can at least offer hope of a sustainable peace ensuring long-term security in our region,” Szijjártó added.
He said one serious consequence of the war was the re-emergence of blocs in the world, which, he said, was “completely against the interests of central Europe”. He also raised the question of where the tens of thousands of weapons delivered to Ukraine may end up in the coming years.
Szijjártó said while western Europeans wanted to “decouple” the European and Chinese economies, major business executives were constantly asking Hungary to convince Chinese companies to invest in their area.
He also emphasised that there were several places in the world where just a fraction of the weapons sent to Ukraine could lead to “serious catastrophes, security crises and instability”.
Szijjártó said the world was “bigger than Europe”, adding that the global majority wanted peace. “We therefore mustn’t believe the mainstream liberal political and media sphere of the transatlantic world, because they’re trying to convince us that the rest of the world agrees with what we in the transatlantic region say, hear or want to say and want to hear,” he added.
But he said though the pro-peace side was under “constant pressure” from those who were “pro-war”, there was not a single Foreign Affairs Council meeting where at least some of his counterparts did not ask him in private to be “tough” on his stance.
“So that’s the situation that we’re in, but this shouldn’t discourage us from looking at this whole thing from a Hungarian perspective,” Szijjártó said.
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