23:15 GMT +322 January 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto on Friday called speculation that Budapest could leave the European Union due to lack of compliance with the bloc's values "stupid," saying that Hungary was committed to a strong European Union.

    "This is stupid. Of course, we do not want to leave the European Union. We are interested in a strong European Union. And we think that the European Union should be based on strong member states. And we participate in debates on the EU's future to make the European Union strong again," Szijjarto told reporters.

    The foreign minister added that Hungary would make every effort to strengthen the bloc.

    Earlier in December, Danish investment bank Saxo Bank published a set of predictions for 2020, one of which said that the "15-year marriage" between Hungary and the EU was "now in trouble" in light of the latter invoking Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty against the country over the policies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, which, according to the bank, do "not conform with EU values."

    The bank added that it was likely that Hungary would follow the United Kingdom out of the bloc by the end of the next year.

    In September of last year, the European Parliament voted to proceed with disciplinary action against Hungary under Article 7 of the EU Treaty. The report prepared by the parliament said Budapest was at "clear risk of a serious breach of EU values." Depending on the results of future proceedings under Article 7, the country may have some of its membership rights suspended.

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    leave, EU, Peter Szijjarto, Hungary
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