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Russian FM Sergei Lavrov meets the only EU Foreign Minister who insists on peace on the sidelines of the UN: Peter Szijjártó. Facebook
New York

Hungarian FM: Europe’s narrative about war no longer relevant

At the UN General Assembly in New York, Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjártó made an interesting observation: Europe has long since lost the "race of narratives" in connection with the Ukraine war.

Published: September 27, 2022, 8:05 am

    Europe’s narrative in connection with the war in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed because of it, does not interest the rest of the world.

    Whatever the EU tries to put forward as being the exact causes of the negative effects to justify sanctions against Russia, is irrelevant, because countries only want to end them, explained Szijjártó on the opening day of this year’s UN General Assembly in New York.

    In Europe and the US, a “communicative and political bubble” has emerged and they believe that the whole world thinks about this conflict as they do. But that is not the case.

    The Hungarian foreign minister stressed that the armed conflict and the sanctions imposed in response to it were no longer affecting only Europe but the whole world, partly because of the rising cost of energy, food and fertilizer.

    Szijjártó recommended that his EU partners put aside proposals that escalate the war, deepen the conflict and aggravate the situation, and finally start thinking about how to achieve peace in Ukraine.

    ‘European bubble’

    It was very revealing to step out of the “European bubble”, because it immediately becomes clear that the vision of war that Brussels is pushing is not shared in most nations in the world, he said.

    At the EU Foreign Affairs Council the previous day, he said, there had been talk of how to explain that it was the war itself that was causing the suffering in the world, not the anti-Russian sanctions imposed against it.

    “But when you talk to non-European foreign ministers, it is clear that they are not interested in what we are saying, what exactly is causing their suffering, they only want it to stop,” he warned. “Peace is the solution to all the problems and serious challenges we face,” Szijjártó warned the UN General Assembly.

    “I sincerely hope that at some point the European countries and the European Union itself will finally take measures that will not lead to an escalation or prolongation of the war, but will help to end it,” the politician added.

    UN should provide platform for ending hostilities

    He also pointed out that the UN General Assembly this week will be attended by almost all world leaders, even representatives of countries that are enemies will be able to meet.

    There is no better and broader platform than the UN to discuss ending the war, he said. The minister also spoke out against new EU sanctions. “Europe suffers more than Russia from the restrictions imposed in response to the war in Ukraine, so the eighth sanctions package should be forgotten, as it would only deepen the difficulties,” the politician added.

    On the sidelines of the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia earlier, he said, the aim should be on achieving peace as soon as possible, adding that this required direct dialogue between the warring sides. He suggested that respected countries and international players should play a mediating role between Ukraine and Russia. “Because if the policy of sanctions continues, if the developments continue to point in the direction of escalation, this will have a very harmful effect on central Europe, and we want to avoid that,” Szijjarto said.

    Going nuclear

    The current energy crisis in Europe significantly increases the importance of nuclear capacities. Nuclear energy capacities help ensure that a country in particular can defend itself from unreasonable and unpredictable changes in the international energy market, i.e. to protect its sovereignty.

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