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Péter Szijjártó: “The Government Says What It Does and Does What It Says”

During a panel discussion at Institute of Politics (IOP) at the Harvard Kennedy School in Boston, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, addressed several significant topics, including the recent EU summit, Hungary’s policy on Russia and energy, and Sweden’s potential accession to NATO.

Regarding the package on Ukraine adopted at the summit, Mr. Szijjártó explained that Hungary had set two crucial preconditions for supporting the deal. Once these conditions were met, there was no need to veto the joint decision again. He said:

If we put forward such a demand, the response is not to discuss it, to study how we can find a solution, but to label us as Putin’s friends, propagandists of the Kremlin, or perhaps Russian spies.”

Photo: MTI / Külgazdasági és Külügyminisztérium / Király Márton

He emphasized the challenge of initiating meaningful dialogue on strategic issues, noting that the government’s concerns often go unaddressed, leading to a deteriorating situation. The Minister added, “it is often the case that the government raises an important issue and the others pretend that nothing has happened, showing that in recent years there has been no real space for a reasonable dialogue on strategic issues.”

The Minister also emphasized that the government has always been honest about its strategy and goals, made possible by the unique political stability in the country. “So we can afford to say what we do and do what we say,” he concluded.

On the subject of Hungarian-Russian nuclear cooperation, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted the involvement of U.S. companies in projects like the Paks nuclear power plant extension. He criticized the EU’s reluctance to support infrastructure expansion in southeastern Europe for diversification. As he stated,

Without a physical infrastructure, diversification is a fairy tale.”

Photo: MTI / Külgazdasági és Külügyminisztérium / Király Márton

Regarding Sweden’s potential NATO accession, Mr. Szijjártó mentioned the government’s proposal awaiting parliamentary consideration. He mentioned delays due to Swedish politicians’ negative remarks about Hungary and expressed hope for parliamentary approval by the end of February. The Minister added that

many MPs are offended by the fact that some Swedish politicians have been saying that Hungary is a dictatorship and has no legitimate government, and are now asking for a favor.”

In response to audience inquiries, Mr. Szijjártó expressed skepticism about Russian aggression against NATO allies, emphasizing NATO’s military superiority. He said,

Obviously, we are much stronger than Russia, NATO is much stronger than Russia militarily.”

He condemned the war in Ukraine during his address at the Russian Energy Week in Moscow, recalling that it is easy to make different statements in Brussels or Washington.

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“The last thing they should do is to lecture us on how to be in solidarity with Ukraine,” the Minister said.Continue reading


Via MTI; Featured Image: MTI / KKM / Király Márton

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