Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has slammed the Western European states for showcasing “hypocrisy” in their relations with Russia, claiming that the West tended to publicly criticize Moscow in spite of doing multibillion-dollar business with Russian companies.
“What we see is that the Western European countries usually criticize Russia above the surface but under the surface their companies are doing enormous businesses with Russian companies, billions of euros [-worth] businesses. Look at the energy investments, look at the gas purchase, look at the [Nord Stream 2] pipeline which is now being built between Russia and Germany, look at the fact that [French] President [Emmanuel] Macron was a star guest of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum… What we see is that there is hypocrisy”, Szijjarto told reporters upon his arrival at the EU foreign ministers’ informal meeting in the Romanian capital of Bucharest.
He expressed hope for good Russia-West ties, since “pragmatic cooperation between East and West” was a priority security interest of the Central European region.
The statement comes after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban noted that he has good relations with Vladimir Putin and opposes EU sanctions against Russia.
In December, Szijjarto already said that Hungary envied the successful cooperation between Western Europe and Russia, stressing that Hungary sought “pragmatic” relations with Russia. Back then, he said that while the West showcased a “tough rhetoric” toward Russia, in fact, multi-billion business was being run between the sides.
Soon after that, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that progress was reached in the development of Russia-Hungary relations stressing that he expects to continue working together to strengthen bilateral ties in various fields.