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The world will give up even the hope for peace if communication between the west and Russia becomes impossible, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said at a roundtable organised by the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI) in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. The foreign ministry quoted Szijjártó as saying that “when the Hungarian government argued for keeping channels for communication open, it was instantly labelled as pro-Russia or an ally for Russian President Vladimir Putin”. The European Union has “totally mismanaged” the Ukraine crisis, he insisted, and said that while the EU’s sanctions had been expected to help end the war quickly back in February “it is now November and the armed conflict is getting more brutal and the European economy is on its knees”. Szijjártó said the US administration’s moves could contribute to an escalation of the situation. The Hungarian government has an interest in keeping communications channels open, in the interest of peace. Its policies are “neither pro-Ukraine or pro-Russia”, they are exclusively determined by Hungary’s interests, Szijjártó said.