Kiev is not defending peace on the continent and will not get weapons from Budapest, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Peter Szijjarto © Getty Images / Jaap Arriens; NurPhoto
Hungary rejects any approach to the Ukraine conflict that suggests that Kiev is somehow fighting to protect peace and democracy in Europe, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said, adding that the conflict is only about Ukraine’s own territorial integrity.
Speaking at a press conference following a meeting of foreign ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Council, Szijjarto called for an end to deliveries of lethal aid to Ukraine, warning that such assistance has the potential to spark an escalation of the conflict.
He noted that while Hungary supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev is “not Europe’s fight” and is not about peace and democracy in Europe.
“Ukraine is fighting for itself, for its own territorial integrity, its own sovereignty and its own independence, which we value very much, because it is a heroic fight, of course, but I say again, this is not our war, which is why we reject any approach that starts from this,” Szijjarto said.
He added that NATO membership for Ukraine should be out of the question given the current circumstances. He noted that Kiev’s accession to the bloc is not even an option given that countries at war cannot be accepted. Such a move would put the alliance itself in danger and could potentially spark a world war, the minister said.
The second reason, according to Szijjarto, is the fact that NATO is a “community of values,” which has no place for a state that “constantly suppresses the rights of national minorities.”
Budapest has repeatedly accused Kiev of suppressing the right of the nearly 150,000 ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine to speak their own language by introducing laws requiring that Ukrainian be spoken in public life, school, the media, as well as in offices.
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Despite assurances from Kiev that a bill has already been drafted to address the issue, Szijjarto insisted that simple promises are meaningless and that Hungary only believes in fully adopted and implemented legislation.
“You can’t lead us or mislead us with statements,” he said.
Szijjarto’s statement comes after NATO promised on Wednesday that it will “develop a roadmap toward Ukraine’s full interoperability” with the bloc’s militaries but stopped short of offering any membership prospects for Kiev.
Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly made it clear that Ukraine’s membership in NATO would be unacceptable to Moscow. President Vladimir Putin has also cited Kiev’s potential accession to the US-led bloc as one of the key reasons for the military operation against Kiev. (RT)