Hungary’s Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said people in his country have “already paid an extremely high price” for the war in Ukraine.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his government have always been by far the closest ally of the Kremlin within the European bloc, leading to thorny diplomatic relations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
After Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Orbán was the most reluctant European Union leader to impose sanctions on Russia and has voiced objections to Western nations sending arms to Ukraine.
Szijjártó’s comments came after Zelensky told journalists in an interview over the weekend that Hungary’s behavior has been “inappropriate,” criticizing the NATO member state for making extensive efforts to block Ukraine from joining the transatlantic military alliance.
“I believe that this is inappropriate behavior. I am giving you my subjective opinion. An ally is not just a word, it is a substance. It is a union of states with the same view on security and on values. They treat certain moments differently, but there is an agreement between the allies, who protect each other and their respective values.”
Szijjártó said Hungarians have been providing “constant help” to Kyiv and “have been accepting and caring for more than a million refugees from Ukraine,” in a Facebook post on Sunday.
He added that “several Hungarians died in this war — members of the Hungarian community in the Transcarpathian region.”