“There are no alternative gas sources, no alternative delivery roots that would allow us to get rid of Russian oil and gas in the next two years,” Péter Szijjártó said in an interview with CNN that he share on his Facebook page. Speaking to the US News Agency, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade spoke about Russian gas imports, the Hungarian approach to the war in Ukraine, the statements of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and “blackmail” over the issue of the rule of law in Ukraine. the European Union.
The Hungarian government’s decision to oppose EU sanctions on Russian gas imports is a matter of Hungarian infrastructure, Péter Szijjártó said. Hungary receives 85% of its gas supply and 65% of its oil supply from Russia, a dependency he described as the “physical situation in central Europe”.
We have done a lot to diversify, we have built all the interconnections with six of the seven neighboring countries. So in case a new source of gas is explored somewhere in the neighborhood, we would be happy to buy gas there.
Szijjártó: Hungary provides humanitarian aid to Ukrainians
Whether these continued imports and the Hungarian government’s decisions regarding the war in Ukraine alienate Hungary from the rest of the EU is, according to Szijjártó, “a perception, it’s a view, it’s a feeling, but it is not reality. The foreign minister spoke of Hungary’s support for the five sanctions packages against Russia, except those “that would stop our country and stop our economy”.
“Hungary represents the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, we help Ukraine a lot on a humanitarian level,” Szijjártó said, explaining that Hungary has so far taken in 640,000 refugees, providing them with accommodation. and providing them with jobs. However, Hungary will not supply arms to Ukraine and will not allow arms deliveries across its border.
Not all EU or NATO member states deliver weapons, Szijjártó answered the question of Ukraine’s demand for arms and the US’s call for allies to help arms deliveries.
The most important duty for the Hungarian government now is to ensure that we can guarantee the security of Hungary and the Hungarian people.
Arms shipments, Szijjártó said, would run the risk of dragging Hungary into the conflict. “We condemn this war started by the Russian Federation,” he concluded.
Prime Minister Orbán’s declaration of electoral victory over the “opponents” of Hungary was also mentioned at the end of the interview. When asked if it was wrong to describe Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as an opponent, Szijjártó accused the Ukrainian government of interference in the Hungarian elections and said that President Zelenskyy’s statements regarding the Hungary had to be taken into consideration.
The Ukrainian government […] tried to interfere in the elections in Hungary and the statements of President Zelenskyy at the very end of our election campaign, which were quite hostile to us, were absolutely inappropriate.
Breaches of the rule of law and “blackmail” on EU funds
Szijjártó said the European Commission’s statement that Hungary’s EU funds could be compromised due to its violations of the rule of law and EU law is “blackmail against Hungary.” These are false accusations. »
Szijjártó spoke of Orbán’s “landfall” victory in his recent re-election, which “the liberal mainstream in Brussels cannot digest”.
the [Hungarian] people support what we do, and if you do what your people support, that means it’s clear and true democracy. […] They [the recent Hungarian laws] are not contrary to European values. They are not liked by some bureaucrats and political leaders in Brussels.
“The Hungarian people did not want the liberal mainstream to rule and govern Hungary,” Szijjártó said. According to the foreign minister, the “bureaucrats in Brussels” are basing the current procedures for breaching the rule of law not on Hungary’s breaches of EU values through legislation such as the “child protection law”, but on their disappointment with the results of the Hungarian elections.
Szijjártó said the procedure was launched “one or two days” after Hungary’s April 3 elections. However, the rule of law mechanism to reduce EU funds has been officially sets off on Wednesday, April 27, and legal proceedings around Hungary’s most significant violations were In progress long before the elections.
Featured photo illustration via Péter Szijjártó Facebook page