FM reiterates Hungary's backing for Ukraine as war breaks out

Int’l Relations

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó

Photo by kormany.hu/Gergely Botár

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó reiterated Hungary's backing for Ukraine in a video message on Facebook early Thursday, state news wire MTI writes, following reports that Russia had attacked Ukraine.

"Hungary's position is clear: we stand by Ukraine, we stand by Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty," Szijjártó said in the video message.

War is "the worst-case scenario", he said, adding that "the diplomatic efforts of the biggest and most powerful countries" had failed to prevent it.

He said Hungary will participate in all consultations with its allies on Thursday concerning decisions on a coordinated response.

"Naturally, our most important task is to ensure the security of Hungarians," he added.

He said Hungary's diplomatic missions in Ukraine, including the embassy in Kyiv, are operating and urged Hungarian nationals in the east of Ukraine to contact the embassy.

He said the situation in Transcarpathia, home to a large ethnic Hungarian population, is "calm at the moment".

Szijjártó said "expedient" action will be taken if further measures are required, of which the public will be informed.

Putin orders invasion

In a televised speech early this morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a special military operation in the Donetsk Basin, effectively initiating an invasion of Ukraine, according to business daily Világgazdaság. 

In his speech, Putin claimed Russia's plans did not include an occupation of Ukraine, but it would seek to demilitarize and "denazify" the country.

The Russian Russian President said the military operation was aimed at protecting the local population, which, he claimed, had suffered abuse and "genocide" from the "Kyiv regime" for the past eight years. 

"Anyone trying to interfere in our affairs and pose a further threat to our country, our people, must know that Russia will have an immediate response, and this will lead to consequences never seen before in history," Putin warned.

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