Published: 2022-11-06 17:19
Last Updated: 2023-06-03 14:02
Editor: Dana Sharayri
The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó called the European Union's sanctions on Russia a “total failure.”
Szijjártó, in an interview with Roya, spoke about Jordanian-Hungarian relations, the energy crisis resulting from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Hungary's economy, and other affairs.
-- ‘A total failure’ --
Szijjártó said that sanctions that have been introduced by the European Union on Russia are a “total failure.”
He spoke about the expectations and promises which were attached to the sanction policy against Russia.
“It was said by the European Commission that the sanctions will help us to conclude this war as soon as possible and it will bring Russia's economy to its knees. Now, what's the outcome? Totally the opposite.”
Szijjártó pointed out that the European economy is currently suffering.
“The European economy faces a tremendous energy crisis, tremendous inflation, skyrocketing commodity and food prices,” Szijjártó said, adding that Hungarians “feel severe impacts.”
According to Szijjártó, last year, Hungary had to pay €7 billion for all energy imports, and by the end of 2022, Hungary will have to pay €19 billion.
In 2023, Hungary might have to pay €29 billion, which is a four times increase within two years, he noted.
“This is the outcome of a failed sanction policy.”
He said that peace in the region will only come through discussions and negotiations. However, he noted that Hungary is the only country in Europe that is “arguing in favor of peace.”
Hungary, according to Szijjártó, is one of the very few countries that does not deliver weapons to Ukraine.
Szijjártó also noted that Hungary is the only country that does not take part in the European Union's training mission for the Ukrainian army.
“We think that these measures [sanctions] would contribute to escalation instead of bringing peace,” he said.
Szijjártó stressed the need to focus on bringing peace to the region instead of imposing sanctions on Russia.
-- American-Russian talks --
Szijjártó pointed out that in order to put this war to an end, American-Russian discussions should take place.
“We all know that it is a naive illusion that it would be Ukrainian-Russian talks based on which this whole war would be resolved,” he said, adding that, “We all know that American-Russian discussions should take place.”
He continued, “If President Trump had won the elections in November two years ago, then this war might not have broken out.”
-- No alternative to Russian gas --
Szijjártó spoke about the Russian oil and gas supply and Hungary’s reliance on it.
“Hungary is now being supplied oil by Russia through a pipeline, which can cover our demand. Now, if this pipeline is being cut, we have no replacement to that extent at least, the alternative pipeline has much less capacity.”
He continued, “if there are sanctions on oil generally from Russia to the European Union, including Hungary, then we can't supply ourselves. Same with gas. The only safe gas pipeline which delivers gas from east to west and has no disruptions or technical problems is the so-called Turkish Stream Pipeline which delivers the gas from Russia to Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia to Hungary. So if there are sanctions being imposed on gas, then again the possible replacement, the possible alternative routes simply do not have the capacity to bring enough gas to Hungary.”
Szijjártó criticized that many European officials are “being deeply involved in ideologies and lost in political approach instead of having a very clear physical approach to this issue.”
-- Any threat to the Middle East bears a direct security impact on Europe --
Hungary's Foreign Minister said that any threat to the Middle East bears a direct security impact on Europe.
“When there's unrest here [the Middle East], when there's a growing threat of terror, that always has a negative impact on European security and handling or managing or being faced with two parallel security-related challenges, that is for Europe, kind of unmanageable. So that's why for us Europeans now it has the utmost significance that there should be peace in the Middle East region.”
-- Hungary’s support to Jordan --
Szijjártó also spoke about the agreement made between his country and Caritas Jordan to deliver Hungarian-made medical equipment to hospitals.
Hungary has delivered to Jordan medical supplies worth €613,000 with the aim of improving the healthcare of Christian communities in the country.
He said, “We all know the commitment of His Majesty and the government towards ensuring level playing fields and improved circumstances and level of standards for all communities, including Christians.”
“In order to support the Christian communities and the Jordanian state as well, we made an agreement with Caritas Jordan that we support the operation of their hospitals in a way that we ensure Hungarian-made medical equipment to be delivered to their hospitals in order to help them and in order to put a little bit off the burden from the shoulders of the Jordanian state.”