Menu Close

Tag: Péter Szijjártó

Szijjártó: Hungary Won’t Even Consider a Gas Embargo

“Hungary is not even willing to hold talks on a possible gas embargo,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó prior to a meeting of EU energy ministers in Luxembourg. The Minister feels that such a step would lead to “the inability of the economy and the country to operate.”

Szijjártó added that Hungary does not have a problem with the EU wanting to locate new sources for its gas, but it should happen on a voluntary basis and without forcing Member States to take part.

The Foreign Minister added that serious technical problems are currently being reported on natural gas transportation routes from Russia to Western Europe. Hungary expects the European Commission to investigate whether there is indeed an interruption due to necessary equipment for operating the pipeline system not having returned from Canada after having been sent there for maintenance. If this is the case, Hungary expects measures to be taken to avoid a crisis in the supply of gas.

Szijjártó also reiterated that the sanctions hurt Europe more than Russia, as the restrictions “have caused a very high increase in prices in the European energy market. As a second step, a very serious problem with quantity then arose. Then a vicious circle began, and the challenges with quantity have meant another increase in prices.” [HVG]

Szijjártó Has No Plans to Give Back Russia’s Order of Friendship Award

Speaking to ATV’s Egyenes Beszéd, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said he had no plans to return the Order of Friendship award that he received from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in December.

Everything that happened before the war, in peacetime, has no relevance now, during the war.

-said Szijjártó in response to a question about whether he had thought about returning the distinguished award from the Russian government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the commendation back in November, in recognition of the Hungarian Foreign Minister’s “significant contribution to the development of Russian-Hungarian relations and cooperation in industrial and investment affairs.”

In March, State Secretary Tamás Menczer told Egyenes Beszéd that Szijjártó was too preoccupied to concern himself with the idea of returning the Friendship award, but Menczer claimed that “if the Foreign Minister finds time along with all of the other things he has to do, I’m sure he’ll think about it.” [Telex]

Szijjártó Mocks Zelensky Criticism With Self-Congratulatory Praise

Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó responded on Facebook to a speech made by Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in which the Ukrainian President criticized the Hungarian government for its stance on resisting the embargo on Russian oil. Hungary is reportedly not even willing to negotiate a sixth package of sanctions against Russia over oil and money.

Szijjártó offered a Hungarian translation of Zelensky’s speech, given in Ukrainian via video link, as follows:

Thank you, Hungarians, for accepting more than 720,000 refugees. Thank you for caring for them, thank you for giving them work, thank you for offering medical treatment to 130 Ukrainian children, thank you for offering hospital care to wounded Ukrainian soldiers, thank you for offering scholarships to 1,000 Ukrainian youths, thank you for starting to rebuild a school and a kindergarten, and thank you for helping to accommodate internally displaced persons!

The head of Hungarian diplomacy then wrote that if this is what Zelensky meant to say in Davos, “then our answer is ‘you’re welcome,’ and we will continue to help.”

However, Szijjártó did not respond to dramatic remarks made by Volodymyr Zelensky:

Tell them that in Ukraine, people and children are dying. They are being killed. Like the 18-year-old killer in Texas… We also have 18-year-old soldiers coming from Russia and simply torturing children. They were told this, to which they said, “That’s all clear. But what about the oil? Where can we get the money?”


Szijjártó Calls EU “Pompous,” Asks It for Money

No breakthrough is expected in the oil embargo talks at Monday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, said Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó at a press conference in the Belgian capital. Only correspondents from pro-government media sources were invited to the event, as the independent press was not even informed of it.

Integration of the Western Balkans was a key item on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council, with the foreign ministers of all the relevant countries present in Brussels.

Szijjártó had a poor opinion about the process, claiming that the EU’s efforts to integrate the region had been completely unsuccessful. He felt that “Brussels needs to change its pompous attitude,” then meet the conditions set by Hungary.

The Hungarian position is to acknowledge that Serbia is a vital country that can guarantee peace and security, and should be integrated into the EU. “We can easily admit Serbia tomorrow, but it should have been yesterday,” Szijjártó said.

The Foreign Minister also said that all three nationalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be treated equally, and Serb leader Milorad Dodik, an ally of the Orbán government that the EU wants to sanction, should be “left alone.”

Hungary’s position is also that the EU should conclude its accession negotiations with Montenegro and begin accession talks with Albania and Northern Macedonia.

Péter Szijjártó claimed that the European Commission had crossed a red line when it proposed an oil embargo, as it is opposed to Hungary’s interests. “We will never allow Hungarians to pay the price of the war,” said Szijjártó.

He then made a list of compensation funds the Orbán government expects from the EU: €500-550 million (US $521-573 million) to convert Hungarian refineries, €200 million ($208 million) to expand the capacity of the Croatian Adriatic oil pipeline, and €15-18 billion ($15.7-18.8 billion) to modernize Hungary’s energy infrastructure.

However, Szijjártó did not promise that Hungary would lift its veto on the Russian sanctions even if it receives the money it is demanding. [Magyar Hang]

Szijjártó May Take Charge of Paks II Nuclear Expansion Project

Several energy-related tasks in the new government may soon be transferred to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, learned from sources close to the government.

A new Ministry of Construction and Investment has been created that will be run by János Lázár, who is returning to the government after having previously served as Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Office. But the Paks II nuclear power plant investment project may end up being supervised by Péter Szijjártó.

The Foreign Ministry will have a stronger portfolio if it represents energy-related issues at the international level, claimed the site’s sources.

This includes tasks such as international procurement and cooperation with the European Union’s Energy Council, meaning it appears likely that Szijjártó will also handle some of the negotiations and issues connected with EU sanctions. asked the Prime Minister’s Press Office for confirmation of the news, but has not yet received a response. [Magyar Hang]

Szijjártó: We Won’t Vote for Latest Russian Sanctions

“We will not be voting on another round of sanctions in Brussels until there is a solution to Hungary’s energy security,” wrote Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Péter Szijjártó on social media on Sunday.

Szijjártó wrote that he had spoken by phone with Abdulla Shahid, the President of the UN General Assembly. The Hungarian Foreign Minister called on Shahid to continue to use the prestige of the United Nations for a ceasefire and peace-building, as “it is in the interests of us Hungarians for there to be peace as soon as possible.”

We also talked about the new sanctions package from Brussels. Shahid is well aware that we have voted in favor of all the sanctions packages so far, but this latest one would destroy the security of Hungary’s energy supply, which has been on solid footing until now. Until there is a solution to the problem posed by the Brussels proposal, we will not vote in favor of this package.

-wrote Péter Szijjártó on Facebook.

On Friday morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called the latest sanctions an “economic atomic bomb” for his country. [Index]

Gov’t Still All-In on Russian-Backed Paks II Nuclear Power Plant Project

“Nuclear power has the biggest potential for us to create our own capacity for energy production, so constructing the next two reactors at the Paks nuclear power plant is in our national economic and security interest,” said Péter Szijjártó after talks in Turkey with representatives of Russian state nuclear power company Rosatom.

Hungary’s Foreign Minister stated that Rosatom representatives “have assured us that they will continue to be technologically capable of carrying out this investment project.”

In a video posted to Facebook, Szijjártó mentioned that the uncertainties around Russian gas and oil supplies justified building the Russian nuclear reactor.

The Foreign Minister also wrote of “self-sufficient energy production” in the Facebook post, despite the fact that Russia will have to continually provide reactor fuel for the next 50-80 years or so. [444]

Hungary Does Not Support New Russian Sanctions in Current Form, Says Szijjártó

On Wednesday afternoon, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó posted a video on Facebook from Uzbekistan, in which he said that the government could not responsibly support the latest sanctions package from Brussels.

Hungary’s energy supply is currently secure and rests on solid foundations, but the sanctions would completely undermine this secure supply, said the Minister, by making it impossible for Hungary to obtain the crude oil needed to operate the country’s economy.

The Foreign Minister believes that this is not a matter of political will or intent, but a physical, geographical, and infrastructural reality. Hungary would therefore only be able to agree to a new set of sanctions if pipeline-delivered oil were taken out of it.

On Wednesday evening, State Secretary Zoltán Kovács said that the government would veto the latest sanctions. [Magyar Hang]

Szijjártó: Hungary Getting its Promised Allotment of Russian Natural Gas

The energy ministers in Bulgaria and Serbia have confirmed that the contracted Russian natural gas shipments to Hungary continue to be delivered without interruption through routes passing through Turkey, Bulgaria, and Serbia, announced Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó in New York on Wednesday.

Szijjártó stated that he had personally monitored the situation in the early afternoon Hungarian time, and nothing had changed, with Hungary still getting its daily allotment of roughly 10 million cubic meters of gas from Russia.

On Tuesday, Russian gas company Gazprom shut off its gas exports to Poland, and on Wednesday afternoon it announced that it would be ending gas exports to Bulgaria as well. [Index]

Szijjártó Closely Following Events in Slovakia

“We are following here in Hungary the unusual domestic political events currently taking place in Slovakia,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Saturday in regards to criminal charges filed against former Slovak premier Robert Fico.

A special unit of the Slovak police, the National Law Enforcement Agency, has launched proceedings against former Slovak prime minister Robert Fico, now the chair of the opposition Direction – Slovak Social Democracy (Smer-SD) party, and the former interior minister in his government, Robert Kalina.

The two Slovak politicians are suspected of setting up and promoting a criminal group and abusing their official powers. [Népszava]

Szijjártó wants war-ravaged Ukraine to stop “insulting” Hungary

picture of Péter Szijjártó

“Our allies continue to agree that the further spread of the Ukrainian war must be prevented at all costs,” said the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Affairs at a press conference in Brussels.

Péter Szijjártó attended a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in the Belgian capital yesterday. NATO’s secretary general stated that the Russian invasion of Ukraine could drag on for months or even years.

At the same time NATO, as a defensive alliance, will not supply arms to Ukraine and will not be a party to the conflict. The head of the ministry reiterated several times that Hungary would continue its policy of not supplying weapons to Ukraine.

The Foreign Minister stressed that no commitment had been made in their current discussions on this, nor was anything being planned, so it would be up to the purview of NATO members to decide on the matter. He indicated that Hungary would keep conducting humanitarian operations and providing aid to refugees.

Szijjártó also received questions about the statement issued by the foreign ministry in Kyiv. The Ukrainians complained, among other things, that Hungary was helping Russian aggression by being willing to pay for Russian gas in rubles.

It’s time for the Ukrainians to stop insulting Hungary and the Hungarian people. It would be good if they stopped continually interfering in Hungary’s internal affairs. The situation is that they ask for and expect help while they despicably attack us and make accusations. These two goals and actions are difficult to reconcile with one another.

-Péter Szijjártó said in his reply.

He pointed out that Hungary had already let 575,000 people from Ukraine into the country so far, and remarked that:

If this is the Ukrainian way of saying ‘thanks,’ then you are very welcome, and we affirm that they can continue to count on us to provide care for refugees.

Closing his remarks, the Foreign Minister said, “it’s time for the Ukrainians to put a stop to the insults against Hungary.”


Szijjártó summons Ukrainian ambassador to Foreign Ministry over “insults” to Hungary

picture of Péter Szijjártó

From the very beginning, we have spoken clearly about the war taking place next door to us: we have condemned military aggression, stood up for Ukraine’s sovereignty, allowed into the country hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing for their lives, and delivered hundreds of tons of food and other donations as part of the largest humanitarian operation in Hungary’s history.

-began Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó (pictured) in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning. He added the usual comments of “this is not our war,” and “we are not willing to jeopardize the peace and security of the Hungarian people,” which is why “we will not transport arms and will not vote for energy sanctions.”

According to Szijjártó, “the Hungarian people on Sunday expressed a clear opinion and made a clear decision” about these issues.

We understand that the Ukrainians have different interests, which we don’t dispute either: for them, the interests of the Ukrainian people come first, while for us, the interests of the Hungarian people come first. But there is one thing which we cannot abide by: no one can be permitted to qualify the democratic decision of the Hungarian people! Statements about the formation of totalitarian regimes, complicity in the war, and deploring the will of the Hungarian people are unacceptable.

-writes the Hungarian Foreign Minister, who believes that “it’s time for Ukrainian leaders to stop insulting Hungary and take note of the will of the Hungarian people,” which is why they summoned the Ukrainian Ambassador to Budapest into the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Affairs yesterday morning.

[444][Photo: Péter Szijjártó / Facebook]

Szijjártó accuses opposition and Ukrainian gov’t of working together

picture of Péter Szijjártó

In an article published yesterday in Magyar Nemzet, the pro-government daily alleged that Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba recently asked the Ukrainian ambassador to Budapest, Lyubov Nepop, how to help the Hungarian opposition win the country’s upcoming election.

Sources in the national security establishment told the news site that contacts had been made between the staff of the prime ministerial candidate Péter Márki-Zay and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The paper claims that Kuleba approached the Ukrainian ambassador in Budapest after Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó (pictured) announced at a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels on March 21 that Hungary would not be supplying arms to Ukraine, nor allow such shipments to pass through the country.

The government addressed the war in Ukraine and the newspaper’s allegations at its session today.

-Péter Szijjártó announced in a video posted to Facebook, while also affirming that the charges made in the Magyar Nemzet article were true.

Szijjártó said that the Hungarian left had been exposed for its “regular consultations” between representatives of the left and the Ukrainian government.

The Foreign Minister also claimed that the opposition forces had promised to send weapons to Ukraine if they manage to form a government after the elections, and would immediately vote for sanctions on oil and gas headed to Hungary and the rest of Europe.

Recent comments by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to international audiences confirm these statements, said the Foreign Minister. He also said that the Ukrainian president was constantly attacking the Hungarian government for its decisions on the war.

Szijjártó acknowledged that while it was in Ukraine’s interest to obtain as many weapons as it could, he said that this was contrary to Hungary’s interest.

United for Hungary press chief Péter Zaránd responded to Telex‘s questions about the allegations of the oppostion’s contacts with the Ukrainian government by saying that the charge was a distraction from the news that broke the day before about Russian hackers infiltrating the Foreign Ministry’s computer network.

Péter Márki-Zay’s Twitter post does not pose a security risk to the Hungarian people, nor do any of his background discussions.

-Zaránd told the news site.

Late Wednesday morning, the Ukrainian Embassy in Budapest posted on Facebook that Ukraine had not intervened in Hungary’s internal matters, nor would it. They wrote that although Magyar Nemzet and similar publications were attempting to drag them into the country’s internal affairs, the embassy would not be party to such provocations.

[Magyar Hang, HVG][Photo: Péter Szijjártó / Facebook]

United for Hungary demands Szijjártó resignation over Russian breach of Foreign Ministry

picture of Péter Szijjártó

Information released today shows that the Russians are no longer in the pantry, but in government offices, as the Russian secret service has had virtually unlimited access to the Foreign Ministry’s entire IT system for years.

-wrote United for Hungary, calling for Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó (pictured) to resign over the matter.

The statement by Hungary’s united opposition was in reference to a story published by investigative outlet Direkt36 on Tuesday, which claimed that Putin’s hackers have gained access to confidential information on Hungarian foreign affairs, and that the Orbán government has not been able to dislodge them.

The Foreign Ministry cannot be headed by a man who has deliberately exposed the country to Russian interests.

-read the statement by the main political opposition force, adding:

Viktor Orbán has deliberately exposed Hungary to Russia not only through a long-term gas contract and the gigantic loan for Paks 2, but also by putting Russian spies in Budapest and intentionally dismantling the Hungarian government’s cyber defenses. This is why Viktor Orbán is still blocking united European action against Russia, and why Péter Szijjártó received an award of distinction from Putin’s right-hand man, Sergei Lavrov.

-according to the opposition statement.

DK’s Ágnes Vadai, vice-chair of the Committee on Defense and Law Enforcement, also demanded that Chief Prosecutor Péter Polt initiate official proceedings for treason.

As Péter Polt frequently initiates proceedings on the basis of written questions from Parliament, I will ask him in a written question what this is if not treason.

-wrote Ágnes Vadai in her statement.

The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Affairs responded to HVG‘s inquries on the cyberattacks with a brief statement:

We don’t deal with campaign lies.


MTI quotes Szijjártó differently in English and Hungarian on war in Ukraine

picture of Péter Szijjártó

More than 200,000 refugees have arrived in Hungary from Ukraine, said Péter Szijjártó (pictured) on March 10. State news agency MTI reported the news, and the next day a translation of this item was published in the English-language news on the Hungarian government’s website, About Hungary.

But there were a few key differences between the two versions. In Hungarian, one sentence reads:

Szijjártó Péter fontosnak nevezte a világos és egyenes beszédet ebben a helyzetben, és hangsúlyozta, hogy Magyarország elítéli a katonai agressziót, kiáll Ukrajna területi integritása és szuverenitása, kiáll az ukránok mellett.

(Peter Szijjártó said that clear and straightforward communication was important in this situation, and stressed that Hungary condemns military aggression, stands up for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and stands up for the Ukrainian people.)

However, the government-provided English translation of this sentence in About Hungary ended up looking like this:

source: About Hungary

Minister Szijjártó underlined the importance of communicating clearly and responsibly about the war, stressing that Hungary condemned Russia’s military aggression and supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and the Ukrainian people.

The English sentence hews closely to the original Hungarian, except that it calls the conflict a “war” and names the aggressor as “Russia,” while it does neither of these in the original Hungarian. In the same way, notes HVG, Minister Szijjártó only condemns the aggression in general terms in all of the websites run by MTI in Hungarian.

However, four hours after this, the news site notes that Péter Szijjártó did indeed mentioned “Russian military aggression against Ukraine” in another Hungarian-language MTI item.

Earlier this month, investigative reporting outlet Direkt36 revealed, based on leaked internal communication, how the Hungarian government regularly interferes in the day-to-day operation of MTI, distorting the news in line with its own political interests.


Gov’t allows weapons for Ukraine to be transported through Hungary

picture of Péter Szijjártó

The Orbán government softened its views on providing weapons to Ukraine relatively quickly, notes Népszava. After issuing seveal defiant statements that weapons headed to Ukraine would not be permitted to pass through Hungarian territory, the government has now given it the nod.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó (pictured) was adamant a week ago that there would be no transporting of arms through Hungary.

Despite this, the Official Gazette published a decree on Monday afternoon authorizing lethal military equipment to be transported to the Ukrainian Armed Forces “through the territory of Hungary by land or air into other allied countries.”

The decree stated that it would not allow transporting weapons by land or air directly to conflict areas, claiming that “Hungary is applying a strict national policy to protect its essential security interests.”

However, transporting non-lethal equipment and supplies, such as personal protective equipment, first aid equipment and fuel, may be transported directly to Ukraine.

Despite the change in policy, later that evening the website of pro-government media source HírTV highlighted how opposition leader Péter Márki-Zay did not understand how dangerous it would be if Hungary supplied weapons to the war.

Fidesz has asked the left-wing to stop its irresponsible and dangerous behavior on the war.

-reads the blurb.

Immediately next to that story’s summary was another story, featuring a picture of Viktor Orbán, on the very decree that now permits the “irresponsible and dangerous behavior” of Hungary sending weapons to Ukraine.

However, the site’s editors did not feel it necessary for some reason to highlight that aspect of the decree in their summary of the story.

screenshot of Hír TV site
screenshot of HírTv website, March 7, 2022 at 9:43pm [source:]

[Népszava, Népszava][Cover photo: Péter Szijjártó / Facebook]

Weapons going to Ukraine cannot pass through Hungary, says Péter Szijjártó

picture of Sergei Lavrov and Péter Szijjártó

Hungary will not send troops or weapons to Ukraine, nor will it allow deadly weapons to be transported through the country, said Péter Szijjártó, Minister for Foreign Trade and Foreign Affairs, on Monday afternoon from Kosovo. Szijjártó justified the decision by claiming that the government did not want Hungary to get involved in the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Although the government previously agreed with the European position of sending arms to Ukraine, Péter Szijjártó said that:

The reason for the decision now is because delivering weapons could cause Hungary and ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia to become military targets. We must ensure Hungary’s security so that we do not get enmeshed in this war.

-stated the Foreign Minister.

NATO is delivering German-made missiles and other military hardware from the Netherlands to Ukraine on a NATO airplane with Hungarian insignia, HVG has reported.

Péter Szijjártó announced that the government would provide 600 million Ft. (US $1.72 million) in funds to alleviate the refugee crisis in Ukraine.

[HVG][Photo: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó in Budapest, August 2021]

Menczer: Szijjártó too busy right now to return his award from Russia

picture of Tamás Menczer

It’s not embarrassing that Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, received the Order of Friendship from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last December, said Tamás Menczer, the ministry’s state secretary for communications (pictured).

Speaking on ATV’s Egyenes Beszéd program, Menczer said that Minister Szijjártó was working to restore peace and represent the interests of Hungarians in Transcarpathia.

The State Secretary said that he had not talked to Szijjártó about possibly returning the award, but added:

If the Foreign Minister finds time along with all of the other things he has to do, I’m sure he’ll think about it.

Menczer also said on the program that the Hungarian government was not permitting arms shipments to travel to Ukraine through the country because it could endanger convoys carrying humanitarian aid to the war-torn region. On Monday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán suggested that weapons shipments could put ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia in harm’s way.

When asked whether the government was rethinking the Russian-led expansion of the Paks II nuclear power plant project, Menczer did not answer directly, but said that Hungarians should not have to pay the price of war, and that the country’s energy supply should not be part of the sanctions against Russia.

According to State Secretary Tamás Menczer, it’s not Hungary’s dependence on Russian gas that is dangerous, but rather utility prices going up by hundreds of thousands of forints for Hungarian families.


As Orbán meets Putin in Moscow today, Szijjártó and Lavrov also holding talks

picture of Vladimir Putin

Prime Minister Viktor Orban is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured) in the Kremlin on the afternoon of February 1, Bertalan Havasi, deputy state secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, officially announced. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov also informed Russian journalists of the visit on Monday.

Despite the lingering negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Hungary and Russia are continuing their joint economic projects, stated Havasi, several of which will be on the agenda of the summit. Viktor Orbán and Vladimir Putin also plan to discuss key international developments.

Havasi and Peskov each emphasized that both sides attach great importance to the Moscow visit, in view of further developing Hungarian-Russian bilateral relations.

The press chief added that Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would also hold talks at the same time as discussions take place between Viktor Orbán and Vladimir Putin.

The Russian President and the Hungarian Prime Minister are meeting as tensions are between Russia and Ukraine are at a critical point, with the West expecting a Russian attack on Ukraine for the past few weeks. In his Friday morning radio interview, Orbán said that Hungary supported peace in the region.

Péter Szijjártó originally announced the date of Viktor Orbán’s visit to Moscow in an interview with Russian news agency TASS on January 20.

Szijjártó said that the main topic of the meeting would be Paks II, the project to expand Hungary’s sole nuclear power plant, but that they would also discuss extending the gas supply contract, possibly manufacturing Russian vaccine Sputnik V in Hungary, and a joint space research project between the two countries.