The country’s top diplomat says the bloc’s leaders failed to protect their citizens from the Ukraine conflict’s ramifications
The armed conflict in Ukraine has “catastrophically” weakened the European Union, Hungary’s Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjarto, has claimed.
Speaking at the ‘Open Balkan’ summit in Belgrade on Friday, Szijjarto argued that the Ukraine conflict along with its “economic influence and a ruinous energy crisis… has led to a catastrophic weakening of Europe and the EU.” The diplomat went on to claim that EU leaders’ failure to “protect people in Europe” has resulted in citizens paying the price for a “war they are not even responsible for.”
The Hungarian minister stressed that talks are needed within the bloc to ensure that the consequences of the conflict are not “fatal to the continent.”
Szijjarto added that food shortages in developing countries caused by the fighting in Ukraine have left “hundreds of thousands of people under the threat of famine,” leading to a “new level of migrants’ aggression” at Hungary’s borders.
The official also stressed the importance of the EU’s expansion in the Western Balkans.
Unlike most other EU member states, Hungary has remained relatively neutral since the start of the conflict in February, refusing to provide weapons to either Ukraine or Russia. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has argued that such shipments could see Hungary getting dragged into direct military confrontation – which is not in the country’s interest.
Moreover, officials in Budapest have repeatedly criticized EU sanctions against Moscow, insisting that the punitive measures hurt the bloc itself more than they do Russia. Hungary has also called for dialogue with Russia to put an end to the Ukraine conflict.
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