"Europe will experience new strategic problems if it fails to integrate Western Balkan countries," Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday at the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia.
Szijjarto said that “the Western narrative on Ukraine is not the same (narrative found) in the countries that are not in the European and North American continent.” He described this as a “strategic defeat of Europe” which made it “crucial for Europe to achieve peace in its neighborhood, as soon as possible.”
“Achieving peace as soon as possible is therefore in our fundamental interest, here in Hungary, and in central Europe.” He called for faster integration, notably of Western Balkans, into the European Union.
Hungary was the only EU country to request the exemption from imposing the sanctions on the Russian energy sector and it was granted that request.
“Why are we buying gas supplies from Russia? Because physically we cannot buy them anywhere else,” he said. “Therefore we will not support any energy sanctions,” he added.
Croatia’s Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman said in Bled that Europe “must show solidarity with Ukraine as Russia’s aggression poses a risk for democracy and European values… This aggression is also a signal to Europe to find ways to cease being dependent on Russian fuels.”
“Croatia’s Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, and Grlic-Radman, also met with the international community’s High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, at Bled, to talk about the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the run-up to the general elections,” state agency Hina said, without clarifying.