The European Union’s response to the war in Ukraine has globalised the fallout from the war rather than isolating its effects, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told a meeting of the Organisation of Turkic States’ economy and trade ministers in Istanbul on Thursday. The EU has botched its response to the war, “and we can only hope that the conflict itself doesn’t become global,” he said. Bad decisions have also hurt the cooperation between East and West, Szijjártó said. Meanwhile, the sanctions have proved to be a “total failure” which also weakened the EU’s competitiveness, he said. “This raises the value of our observer status in the OTS, and of our cooperation with its member states,” he said. Cooperation between the East and West is key to improving Europe’s competitiveness, and the chances for that are dwindling,” he said. The OTS is an important “bridge” between the East and West, and its member states will become key to ensuring transport routes now that some of the traditional supply lines have become impossible, he said. OTS member states together own the third largest depository of natural gas in the world, and will have an important role in improving energy security, he said. Hungary’s energy security and diversification would be at peril without the Turkic states and the TurkStream pipeline, he said. He welcomed the OTS’s new investment fund, and said that Hungary would contribute 100 million dollars. Szijjártó noted that trade between the Turkic states and Hungary surpassed 4 billion dollars last year, and jumped by 2.8% to 2.8 billion dollars in the first half of 2023.
Turkmenistan will soon open an embassy in Hungary and the Hungarian government has made a similar decision, Szijjártó said. The minister said Uzbekistan opened an embassy in Budapest this year and Hungary opened its embassy in Tashkent, fulfilling a commitment made in 2018 that our country should have diplomatic representation in all member states of the OTS, and vice versa.