June 23. 2024. 2:03

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Hungarian FM only minister missing in support Ukraine video

Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó was the only EU foreign minister missing from a video ministers made in support of Ukraine as Russia’s war approaches its one-year mark, with one of his ministry’s state secretaries featuring instead.

In the foreign ministers’ video to mark the war’s first anniversary, Péter Sztáray, the Secretary of State for Security Policy at Hungary’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry, was the only Hungarian official to be seen, EURACTIV’s partner Telex reported.

Szijjártó was busy in Budapest on Monday, so he sent Sztáray to the EU foreign ministers’ meeting instead, despite being informed of the day of recording well in advance, Hungarian media reported.

Other EU foreign ministers, including Austria’s Alexander Schallenberg, could not make it to the meeting but still submitted a recording of their remarks before ministers met so they would still feature in the video.

“Russia failed when it thought it could defeat Ukraine in a few days, and it will continue to fail,” the EU’s Chief Diplomat Josep Borrell said in the introduction to the video, followed by foreign ministers who all added words they consider associated with Ukraine, such as courage, heroism, freedom, unity, justice. Sztáray chose the word “diversity”.

Before the war, Ukraine was home to a Hungarian minority estimated to be about 200,000 people, mainly in the southwestern region of Zakarpattia Oblast.

The minority community has historically been a source of tension between Hungary and Ukraine, with Hungary accusing Ukraine of discrimination against ethnic Hungarians and Ukraine accusing Hungary of interference in its internal affairs.

(Charles Szumski with Telex | EURACTIV.com)