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Hungary undecided on peace summit participation due to Russia's absence, Hungarian FM says

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 3, 2024 9:12 AM 2 min read
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto attends the 26th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Russia on June 15, 2023. (Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Hungary has not decided whether to take part in Ukraine's global peace summit as "not all sides of the war" will be present at the event, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on June 2 in an interview with Belarusian state-owned TV channel ONT.

Budapest has repeatedly opposed Ukraine's accession to NATO and the EU, sanctions on Russia, undermined Western aid efforts for Ukraine, and maintained close relations with Moscow throughout the full-scale war.

In mid-May, Hungary vetoed a resolution in the Council of Europe to officially recognize and support President Volodymyr Zelensky's 10-point peace formula.

Hungary respects Switzerland's efforts to achieve peace but doubts whether the summit makes sense if "there aren't both parties to the war" present, according to the minister.

"If both sides of the war are not represented, I think it is a legitimate question whether the whole summit makes sense in terms of the ultimate goal, which is to seek peace," Szijjarto said

"We (Hungary) believe that the peace summit has real meaning and gives the greatest hope for peace if both sides are at the table."

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Ukraine hopes the summit will address several key areas, such as energy security, the exchange of captives, the return of deported children, global food security, and other topics.

Szijjarto added that Budapest "has nothing to do with the war" despite different attitudes among other European countries.

"They (other European states) tend to feel that they are also at war with Russia. We do not feel that way. I mean, Russia has not attacked us. We are not at war. Ukraine is not fighting for us," the minister said.

The peace summit will be held on June 15-16 in the Burgenstock resort in Switzerland.

Ukraine hopes the summit will address several key areas, such as energy security, the exchange of captives, the return of deported children, global food security, and other topics.

Russia was not invited to the talks, but the Swiss hosts said that Moscow's representatives will have to take part in the process "sooner or later."

Kyiv has warned that Russia is attempting to disrupt the summit.

Media: Saudi Arabia plans to snub Ukraine’s global peace summit
Saudi Arabia does not plan to be present at the Global Peace Summit to support Ukraine because Russia will not be there, German news agency DPA reported on June 2, citing diplomatic sources.

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