“Hungary and Poland are linked by a strategic partnership and a true friendship; we can count on each other unconditionally”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared in an interview for Polish television station wPolsce.pl, which aired on Thursday.

The Minister arrived in Warsaw on the previous day, and amongst others gave a speech at the Warsaw Security Forum international security policy conference. Mr. Szijjártó recalled: “The two countries assured each other of their support in view of the fact that Article 7 proceedings have been initiated against both countries in the European Union. “Since new attacks against Hungary are expected in the near future within the EU, it is very important for us to be sure: we can count on each other unconditionally”, the Minister stressed.

He said that in his opinion the EU rule of law procedures were primarily launched because of the migration policy of the Visegrád Group (V4) countries. “Hungary, Poland and our Czech and Slovakian friends have proven that everything that Brussels has by trying with over the past three and a half years is doomed to failure”, he underlined. “It is a lie that migration cannot be stopped; it is a lie that migration is good for Europe; and it is a lie that migration isn’t causing any problems on our continent”, he declared. According to Mr. Szijjártó, it has become clear that so-called parallel societies, which are endangering Europe, have come about in several countries. It has also become clear that migration can be stopped, “we have proven this”, he stated.

“The other reason for the EU attacks against Hungary and Poland is that the two countries are practicing successful economic policies that go against mainstream economic theories. In addition, both countries have true leaders and a stable political and economic background. And this is something that they don’t like in Brussels”, the politician noted. He said it was unfounded that certain Brussels politicians are speaking about a “populist threat” with relation to Hungary and Poland. “The governments of the two countries are successful because we realise the will of the electorate”, he said. “Our Government didn’t come to power by winning the lottery, and neither did yours, but by winning elections”, he declared. “We are truly democratic governments, because we are in possession of the democratic legitimacy we received from the people”, he stressed.

The interviewer from wPolsce.pl asked about Hungary’s energy policy with Russia and Hungary’s thoughts on this. We are maintaining “a very pragmatic relationship” with Russia, Mr. Szijjártó stated. He rejected suggestions that Hungary is Moscow’s second-rate partner. Concerning relations between the Western European countries and Russia, he cited the regularity of high-level meetings and the North Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is being constructed by a German-Russian consortium, pointing out: “it is evident how close relations are in this respect”. “Of course, there is hypocrisy on the surface and strong statements by Western politicians, but we can see what business deals are being concluded below the surface”, he declared.

“It is obvious that 85 percent of our gas imports are derived from Russia, but this isn’t a whim, but a question of infrastructure”, he noted. “Hungary would be in an easier position with relation to the diversification of its gas supply if the United States or the EU were to spend millions of dollars or euros on the infrastructural development of our region, if Croatia completes its LNG terminal on the Adriatic, and if Romania finally enables the extraction of gas on the Black Sea”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

In reply to a question on Hungarian-Ukrainian relations, the Minister expressed his hope that the conflict that has developed with relation to the Ukrainian Language Act and dual citizenship will be resolved. “The problem is that we didn’t start the conflict”, he stressed, noting that it wasn’t the Hungarian Parliament that adopted a Language Act that discriminates against national minorities. The Minister said it was inadmissible that a petition calling for the deportation of Transcarpathian Hungarians could be found on the Ukrainian Parliament website, and that a list threatening Transcarpathian Hungarian officials with dual citizenship had been published on the internet.

“Ukraine must resolve the situation in accordance with European regulations”, he underlined. “Kiev is currently violating the rights of the Hungarian national minority and international law. This can only be resolved by Ukraine”, he emphasised. “Hungary would be very glad if the situation were resolved, because it has an interest in good relations with Ukraine”, he added. Mr. Szijjártó repeated that the convening of the NATO-Ukraine Council remains dependent on a solution to the conflict. “By violating the rights of the Hungarian minority and international law, Ukraine is also violating NATO regulations”, he argued.

Following the interview, Mr. Szijjártó met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin at the site of the Warsaw Security Forum conference, and put forward a proposal for the conclusion of a minority protection treaty. The Ukrainian party promised to examine the proposal.