Hungary has already sent experts to Sarajevo to aid Bosnia-Herzegovina’s European Union accession process, and has deployed 165 troops to the EU’s peace keeping mission in the country, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told a joint press conference with his Bosnia-Herzegovina counterpart, Elmedin Konaković, in Sarajevo. He rejected the EU employing “any sort of sanctions on democratically elected leaders in the region”. “Those thinking we can solve a problem by sanctions have no idea of the situation here and are trying to conceal their ignorance with a sort of hubris.” Meanwhile, trade between Hungary and Bosnia-Herzegovina jumped by a record 21% last year, to 600 million euros, Szijjártó said. Hungary has launched a mutually advantageous economic development scheme in the country, which allows local farmers to buy Hungarian agricultural machinery. Fully 805 companies have applied for the programme, contracting a total of 11.5 million euros in support, he said.
As regards migration, Szijjártó said its root causes were becoming more grievous. He said this meant migration pressure was expected to grow from already high numbers last year, when Hungarian authorities registered 265,000 illegal entry attempts. “Migration is dangerous and so it has to be stopped, and we know that the stronger the cooperation with Western Balkan states, the more effectively can we stop waves of migration,” he said.