MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on Wednesday urged Russia to step up efforts to defend Christians and Christian values globally.
"As representatives of Christian civilization, we should protect the Christians," he said at a meeting of the inter-governmental Russia-Hungary Commission in Moscow.
Szijjarto stressed that Christian values need to be protected both in Europe and in the East, and that Russia "should play an important role in it."
Hungary has been swarmed with tens of thousands of refugees fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. The burden of the EU-wide refugee crisis prompted Budapest to take a hard line on the issue.
Syria has seen four and a half years of a civil war that was exacerbated in summer 2014 by extremists from Islamic State (ISIL) and Nusra Front militant groups, among others. Islamists gained notoriety for attacking and killing Christians, as well as worshipers from religious groups and Islamic sects that were not aligned with their form of Sunni Islamic religious fundamentalism.
Last month, Russia commenced airstrikes against extremist positions in Syria, currently the main country of origin for hundreds of thousands of refugees seeking security in Europe.
In an interview with Sputnik Szijjártó remarked that NATO presence in Hungary won't affect the country's cooperation with Russia
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Increased NATO presence in Hungary will not affect its relations with Russia, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told Sputnik on Wednesday.
"It will not affect our pragmatic cooperation with Russia. We have strong willingness to have prognostic cooperation with Russia based on mutual respect and respect of international law," Szijjarto said.