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Foreign Minister Considers the 13th Sanctions Package a Sham Measure

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.02.20.

“All the elements of the EU’s thirteenth package of sanctions against Russia that harm Hungarian interests have been removed, but this package does not bring peace in Ukraine any closer, it is merely a sham measure,” Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Brussels on Monday.

The minister noted at a press conference following the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting that the new sanctions are about to be finalized. The only reason for this is so that the community can say that it has done something in the run-up to the second anniversary of the outbreak of war, he added.

He stressed that in recent weeks, the government had weeded out measures from the package that would have harmed national interests.

Thus, the concrete measures in the sanctions list do not affect fundamental Hungarian economic interests,

but the problem is much bigger: the European Union is continuing a strategy that has failed completely, taking us further away from peace, not closer to it,” the politician said.

Minister Szijjártó also called it ‘nonsense’ that a large part of the speeches had already been about a fourteenth package, and stressed that if there was such a proposal, measures that were damaging to Hungarian interests would be removed from it.

“These sanctions packages have harmed European competitiveness, while they have improved that of other world economic players,” Szijjártó said. In this context, he expressed regret that war psychosis still prevails in the EU, and the vast majority is not willing to change the failed strategy.

We are also seeing younger and younger people being conscripted in Ukraine, so I think it is legitimate to ask who will survive this war, who will take part in the reconstruction of Ukraine,”

he added, calling for a ceasefire and peace talks.

He stressed that he had once again refused to allow Hungary to take part in the arms transfer. He underlined that EUR 5 billion would be added to the European Peace Facility to finance new military equipment. “We have made it clear that we are not prepared to participate in any joint action for the transfer of arms, and we will not block such a decision unless we can ensure that it does not involve any kind of obligation for us, financial or otherwise, not a single penny,” he said.

Negotiations are currently at a stage where the rules of constructive abstention are about to change. This change will mean that we will not have to finance either lethal or non-lethal means from our share of this EUR 5 billion,”

the politician added.

He said that instead, Hungary would be able to decide what to do with the money it pays, for instance to fight migration or to strengthen stability in the Western Balkans. The minister noted that they did not want to prevent others from making whatever decision they wanted, but the government still saw arms transfers as prolonging war and suffering.

Szijjártó concluded that the question of the extension of the legislation on duty-free admission of Ukrainian products beyond June will be on the agenda shortly. He recalled that the government had imposed an import ban on twenty-three goods, essentially foodstuffs, and warned that this would be maintained unilaterally in the event of an extension in order to protect farmers.

The Government Will Not Participate in Supporting Arms Transfers to Ukraine
The Government Will Not Participate in Supporting Arms Transfers to Ukraine

Sending weapons to Ukraine would prolong the war, and more people would die, said the foreign minister.Continue reading

Via MTI, Featured image: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter

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