During a press conference on Monday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto criticized the European Union (EU) for pressuring Hungary into fast-tracking Ukraine’s accession for “security reasons.” Szijjarto emphasized that the EU is not a security organization, but rather a political-economic integration, making it unacceptable to base a country’s future membership solely on security grounds. He expressed dissatisfaction with the EU’s attempts to expedite Ukraine’s accession to the bloc.
The proposal discussed during the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg included funding for arms production and military training facilities in Ukraine, amounting to €20 billion ($21 billion) in security guarantees. Szijjarto strongly opposed this proposal, citing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine as a reason. He believed that placing EU assets in an active conflict zone would immediately drag the European Union into war, labeling it as “completely unacceptable.”
Szijjarto also criticized the lack of provisions for peace in the proposal, claiming that it focused solely on the war without addressing how to achieve peace. He argued that the European approach to the events in Ukraine still seemed to be pro-war and expressed his disappointment with what he referred to as the bloc’s “war psychosis.”
Furthermore, Szijjarto mentioned that some of his colleagues were experiencing “Ukraine fatigue,” meaning that public interest in the conflict was waning, especially with the outbreak of new hostilities in the Middle East. He emphasized the urgency of ending the conflict in Ukraine, warning that as more lives were lost on the battlefield, the conditions for peace would only deteriorate.
The Hungarian diplomat had previously advised the EU against its actions of funding and arming the Ukrainian military while antagonizing Russia. Szijjarto believed that continuing to supply weapons would only prolong the conflict and result in more casualties. He emphasized the need to avoid making serious mistakes that could escalate the situation further.
In a statement last month, Szijjarto announced Hungary’s intention to block Ukraine’s accession to the EU due to its discrimination against the Hungarian ethnic minority dwelling in the western part of the country. He highlighted several controversial laws enacted since the US-backed coup in Kiev in 2014, mandating the use of the Ukrainian language.
In conclusion, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto’s criticism of the EU’s approach to Ukraine’s accession and the ongoing conflict highlights the complexity of the situation. He raised concerns about the bloc’s focus on security and its lack of efforts toward achieving peace. Szijjarto also drew attention to the fatigue surrounding the conflict and the potential consequences of supplying arms. Hungary’s stance on Ukraine’s accession reflects its concerns for the rights of the Hungarian ethnic minority within Ukraine’s borders. The issue requires careful consideration and a balanced approach from all parties involved in order to move towards a peaceful resolution.