Szijjártó met with Lavrov despite the EU's explicit request not to

September 23. 2022. – 04:18 PM



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On Friday morning, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry issued an enthusiastic statement informing the world that the Hungarian government was the only EU member to sit down for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in New York. By the afternoon, it turned out that the reason why Péter Szijjártó was the only one to meet with Lavrov, was that the European Union had specifically asked the member states not to hold bilateral talks with the Russian side. This request was obeyed by all but the Hungarian foreign minister, Euronews reports.

The meeting between the Russian and Hungarian foreign ministers in New York took place hours after European Commission foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano stated a press conference that it would be inappropriate to hold bilateral talks with members of the Russian government during the UN General Assembly. According to Stano, this position was understood and accepted by all member states.

For example, the Cypriot foreign minister cancelled his planned meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in New York on Thursday at the request of the European Union.

Mr Szijjártó did not, explaining that "peace without dialogue will not happen".

Stano said:

"There is a consensus among EU member states that at the moment, in this particular situation, meeting Lavrov in New York, for example, is pointless, as it will not bring about any necessary results."

He added that any contact with Russia should be aimed at calling on them to stop this insane, illegal war.

Indeed, the meeting between the Hungarian and Russian foreign ministers did not produce many results. All that emerged was that peace talks in Ukraine are unlikely to be opened, and that Szijjártó complained to Lavrov that the consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian war could be felt in Hungary through the spiralling inflation and the flood of refugees.

Euronews contacted Stano about the meeting, who reiterated his statement from Thursday, adding that "the ultimate responsibility for making these meetings happen lies with the member states concerned in each case."

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The translation of this article was made possible by our cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation.