The current situation on the global political stage poses a serious danger to the world unless common sense prevails, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told an international conference in Tangier, Morocco. The East and the West should therefore reopen their communication channels, Szijjártó told a panel discussion at the MEDays Forum, according to a foreign ministry statement, adding that communication had often been enough to avert another world war during the Cold War.
Hungary considers 2022 “the year of big disappointments”, Szijjártó said. He said the “legitimate expectation” that the end of the coronavirus pandemic would be followed by a less difficult period had turned out to be a “naive illusion” because a war had broken out in Ukraine. Szijjártó urged the reopening of communication channels in the interest of settling the conflict. “Because if the communications channels are given up, then the hope for peace is being given up as well,” he said. The minister said the Cold War had been better in this respect because the opposing sides had been in constant communication. “We Hungarians really do try to maintain dialogue with the Russians, but whenever we do so, we always are faced with enormous unfair and vehement attacks” labelling the country “the spies of Putin, the allies of the Russians, the breakers of European unity”, Szijjártó said, adding that Hungary only wanted to maintain communication. Szijjártó said those who believed the war could end with talks between Ukraine and Russia were “naive”, arguing that dialogue between Russia and the United States was needed. He said everything must be done to avoid a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia, arguing that such a conflict could lead to a third world war. Szijjártó said the Cold War had been “terrible” for central Europe, adding that the current global political situation carried similar threats “unless common sense can prevail and the voice of those who want peace will become louder”. He said that as a neighbouring country of Ukraine, Hungary had a vested interest in peace also because Europe was facing increasingly serious economic problems which were being aggravated by the European Union’s “failed sanctions”.
He argued that the sanctions had failed to live up to expectations because the war was becoming increasingly brutal while the European economy had spiralled into crisis. Because Hungary does not want to get dragged into the war, it has decided against delivering weapons to Ukraine and is the only EU country not taking part in the bloc’s mission to train Ukrainian troops, he said. “Of course, for these two decisions of ours we are under very, very heavy and severe attacks on a daily basis politically and media-wise as well,” Szijjártó said. “The voice of escalation is much louder than the voice of peace.”