The must-have newsletter about Hungary



Hungary “is the final obstacle” to further conflagration in the region, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said at a campaign event in western Hungary, adding that while Europe was not yet engulfed in flames, NATO was focusing all its energy on “knocking down this last bastion from its foundations”. Szijjártó told supporters that in the June 9 European parliamentary election Hungary must “defend itself against the war in Ukraine”. He said some people were openly talking about rescinding Hungary’s EU voting rights so that it could not block decisions “that could push Europe into a third world war”. “The emergency brake comes in the form of the June 9 election,” he added.
Szijjártó also said there was “a real danger” of conscription drives in Europe leading to pressure on countries to send soldiers to Ukraine. Whereas some had accused him of alarmism in this respect, he said it was worth recalling that 2.5 years ago many European countries said that they would not send weapons, yet now missiles and tanks were being sent there and, in the end, fighter planes would be, too. The minister emphasised the importance of diplomacy in resolving the war. Szijjártó said that last year at the UN General Assembly, Europeans had wanted to stop him from meeting Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, yet, he added, the UN had been established precisely as a channel of communication between warring parties. “This is hugely hypocritical, as those who say that ties with the Russians should not be maintained are exactly those … who are still making huge business deals with the Russians,” he said.