Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter Szijjarto, said after meeting with his Bosnian counterpart in Sarajevo, Elmedin Konakovic, that Hungary strongly supports BiH’s integration into the EU, but that it will not support any sanctions in the Western Balkans.
Szijjarto spoke about the challenges brought about by the war conflict in Ukraine, which the entire European continent is facing, arguing that it is now evident how much of a mistake it was for the EU not to accelerate expansion into the Western Balkans in recent years.
“The EU would be stronger and we could fight illegal migration more effectively,” Szijjarto also argued.
“Hungary wants to speed up the EU enlargement process, but you also know very well that there are member states in the EU that only verbally support the EU enlargement, and when it comes to decisions, they are very reserved. That is why we call on the member states to stop hindering and limiting the EU enlargement process, because it means a security risk for both the EU and Hungary,” he said.
He then criticised Brussels for often resorting to sanctions “for the sake of simplicity”, arguing that such an approach has not been very successful in the past decades.
“We absolutely do not agree to the EU introducing any sanctions in relation to the Western Balkans,” he stressed.
Szijjarto also said that the economic cooperation between BiH and Hungary is continuing to develop and that the volume of trade last year was more than 600 million euros, which is an increase of 20 percent.
Konakovic thanked Hungary for its support to Bosnia and Herzegovina on its European path and that there are no open issues between the country.
“Hungary is a country with which the volume of our trade exchange is growing and with which new opportunities are additionally opening up. We confirmed once again that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of BiH is completely unquestionable and that there is no doubt about it, so I thank my colleague for that once again,” Konakovic said.
Konakovic also announced that he might visit Hungary in July.
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