Hungary FM: Witch Hunt Against Hungarian Companies Ongoing in Ukraine

The witch hunt against Hungarian companies in Ukraine has not ended with solving the OTP Bank issue as authorities are preparing to withdraw the permits of a dozen pharmaceuticals sold by the Hungarian pharmaceutical company Richter, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said in Luxembourg on Monday.

2024. 04. 23. 12:19
Szijjártó Péter Luxemburgban (Forrás: Facebook / Szijjártó Péter)
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Peter Szijjarto told a press conference on the sidelines of the EU foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg that the bloc was preparing for a world war in view of the increasingly critical situation in Ukraine and putting enormous pressure on Hungary in the process, which is expected to intensify in coming months.

Besides the 500 million in aid to Ukraine, which Hungary blocked, the EU is planning to fund member states' weapon deliveries with another 1.5 billion euros from the European Peace Facility, he said, giving an example.

Hungary’s stance is unchanged and clear: until we receive a guarantee from the Ukrainian side that they will end the witch hunt against Hungarian companies active in Ukraine — and will not restart it — we cannot contribute to such decisions,

he stressed.

He called the discrimination against Hungarian companies unacceptable, noting that the procedures and reasons were unfounded, and recalled that Ukraine had earlier black-listed OTP Bank as an international sponsor of the war. He pointed out that just as the OTP issue seems to be solved,

Kyiv is preparing to withdraw the permits of fourteen pharmaceuticals sold by Richter in Ukraine.

The minister of foreign affairs and trade said that the procedure against the pharmaceutical company was similarly unfounded as the black-listing of the financial institution.

 "Richter has not breached any rules or sanctions in Ukraine […] conducting operations in Russia does not violate any laws. The pharmaceutical industry is not in any way under sanctions," he underlined.

So the witch hunt against Hungarian companies did not end with solving the OTP issue, but they have now taken another step forward in this regard,

he said. The minister noted that when Hungary asked the Ukrainian government to remove OTP from the list, they said the matter was independent of politics. Later, the government decided to scrap the list altogether, which "dented" the credibility of their argument, he said.

Since it appeared that a political decision had been made rather than a professional one, the danger of a similar measure being repeated was real, the minister opined. "That's why we have asked our Ukrainian colleagues to […] come to Budapest, sit down and work out a solution, an agreement, which will give us a sufficient guarantee that Hungarian companies will not suffer this type of disadvantage for purely political reasons," he said. "So far, the Ukrainian anti-corruption agency has not responded positively to our invitation. We are still waiting for them in Budapest, our colleagues are ready, so it is not up to us whether or not such an agreement is reached," he added. 

Cover photo: Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto in Luxembourg (Source: Facebook/Peter Szijjarto)

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