February 15, "Change the approach towards Serbia; It's not fair..."


Feb 15, 2024. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas

Serbia should not be conditioned with its accession in the European Union on the issue of Pristina, said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó

In an interview with HINA, Szijjártó stated that Russia is not a threat to any NATO member.

The head of Hungarian diplomacy was in Petrinja yesterday, where he opened a new elementary school, built after the devastating earthquake that hit this Croatian city at the end of 2020, for the construction of which Hungary donated almost 22 million euros.

Speaking about the expansion of the European Union, Szijjártó said that the project is incomplete until all the countries of the Western Balkans become its members.

We believe that the European Union needs the Western Balkans more than the countries of the Western Balkans need membership in the European Union, Szijjártó pointed out.

EU is suffering from the loss of competitiveness, war, war fatigue and increasing irrelevance in global politics, and with enlargement, it would gain new freshness and momentum, said the head of Hungarian diplomacy and announced that during its presidency of the Union in the second half of this year, Hungary will put great emphasis on acceleration of that process.

Hungary, as Szijjártó pointed out, is absolutely interested in the stability of the Western Balkans, and its government opposes the European sanctions against the President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, who, according to the agency, often threatens the entity's secession from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

HINA reminds that Dodik has already been sanctioned by Great Britain and the United States and adds that Szijjártó believes that European sanctions have never succeeded anywhere and that it makes no sense to punish a democratically elected leader because it only worsens the situation.

Noting that Budapest is a frequent interlocutor of Dodik, it is stated that he prefers dialogue and discussion instead of sanctions, and that through talks with the president of Republika Srpska, he realizes that he is absolutely committed to the European path of his country.

Szijjártó, reports the agency, therefore believes that the acceleration of membership in the EU should be used as a common denominator that will unite all leaders and peoples within BiH, which will reduce tensions.

The head of the Hungarian diplomacy, it is reported, claims that Serbia is ready to join the EU tomorrow and adds that without it, as the largest and strongest country in the Western Balkans, there is no stability in that area. Alienating Serbia is the worst possible tactic, said Szijjártó.

They add that Szijjártó explains the frequent anti-Western and anti-European rhetoric of the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, with a feeling of disappointment due to the lack of progress towards membership despite the criteria being met.

"Serbia is a proud nation. That's why I believe that the approach of the Brussels bureaucracy should be changed" and the "ex-cathedra" approach should be replaced by a "face-to-face" conversation.

It appears that Szijjártó opposes linking the issue of Serbia's EU membership with the normalization of relations with Pristina. He emphasizes that it is unfair to Belgrade because the issue of normalization does not depend only on Serbia.

According to HINA, Szijjártó rejected the statements of Western military leaders, the last of whom is the Danish Minister of Defense, that Russia could attack a member of the NATO alliance in a few years.

Why would they do that? NATO is much stronger than Russia. Why would someone attack someone who is much stronger than him, what sense does that make, asked the head of Hungarian diplomacy and emphasized that he does not see Russia as a security threat to any member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.