Significant pressure is expected to be placed on the Hungarian government at the informal meeting of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council in Toledo; however, the government will not yield in the matter of financing arms deliveries until its conditions are met, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared in a video message shared early on Thursday morning.
Before departing for the meeting in Spain, the minister reported that the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell had invited him for a private discussion, either one-on-one or possibly with the Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmitro Kuleba. The discussion would revolve around Hungary contributing additional tens of billions of euros to support Ukraine.
‘Of course, today I will not give in to pressure. We will not decide on any further funding for arms or anything related to Ukraine until we receive a detailed, clear account of how the approximately 50-70 billion euros sent to Ukraine so far have been spent. Also, until OTP is removed from the list of so-called international sponsors of the war in Ukraine we will not even consider decisions about financing weapons or anything else concerning Ukraine,’ he emphasised. He added: ‘It’s unacceptable that on the one hand, they ask Hungary to send funding to Ukraine from taxpayers’ money, while on the other hand, they keep the largest Hungarian financial institution where three million people have accounts on the list of international sponsors of the war. Everyone feels it, sees it, knows it that this is nonsensical, and until this nonsensical situation is rectified, we are not willing to negotiate any financial matters,’ he stressed.
Szijjártó expressed regret that at this point, according to the agenda, everyone is expected to talk about the war, while he alone will speak about peace. ‘The voice of peace, the voice of the desire for peace, must be strengthened because it is clear that with each passing day and with each arms delivery, the risk of escalation becomes more serious,’ he warned. ‘Every single day spent in war and every single weapon delivered to Ukraine causes more deaths, and we want to prevent this,’ he added. The minister shared that the recent military coup in Gabon will also be a topic at the meeting, emphasising that this is the eighth similar power takeover in Central and Western Africa within three years.
‘Each of these coups carries the danger of instability, and we know full well that if instability prevails in an African country or region, it can easily lead to new waves of migration. That’s why it’s very important for the European Union, for Brussels, to speak clearly at last. It should leave behind its migration-friendly policy and finally make it clear that entry into Europe can only happen legally,’ Szijjártó said.
‘If Brussels continues its migration-friendly policy, then the pressure on the European continent could become so great that avoiding it will be very difficult, demanding extraordinary efforts from those countries that protect the external borders of the European Union,’ he added, underscoring that Hungary is also such a country. The Hungarian authorities have prevented tens of thousands of illegal border crossing attempts this year, while migrants behave increasingly aggressively. ‘We are doing everything in our power to reduce the migratory pressure on Europe. In Hungary, entry is only possible legally; we will not admit illegal migrants. Today, too, I will stand up for the idea that the migration-friendly policy of the European Union should finally come to an end,’ the minister summarised.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/KKM/MTI