Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that central Europe could see much worse times than the cold war in the coming period. “It might look different from hundreds or thousands of kilometres away, but Russia is part of reality, the closer we are to it, the more it is a reality,” he said. Maintaining channels of communication is key, “or the world will give up every hope” of peace in Ukraine, he said.
Regarding tensions between the US and China, Szijjártó said there were “political efforts” to wean the western economy off China, but they had not affected the private sector. He pointed to Hungary as an example, which he said had become a “European hub” for the transition to electric mobility. Seven of the 10 largest manufacturers of batteries for electric cars are Chinese, and they are indispensable for Western car companies, he said. Asked whether the Hungarian government was trying to make its “infringements on human rights” acceptable by making the country indispensable to European car manufacturing, Szijjártó said: “Our government is clearly not one of the liberal mainstream; it is right-wing, patriotic and Christian Democrat, which is unusual in Europe. The liberal mainstream will always criticise the leadership because of that, but they have to respect the fact that the ruling parties won landslide victories in the past four elections.”