On Thursday in Belgrade, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov held talks on world politics and Hungarian-Russian relations.
Mr. Szijjártó had bilateral meetings as part of the two-day conference of the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
The Hungarian and Russian Ministers of Foreign Affairs affirmed those political agreements that were reached during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Budapest in February. “One of the most important agreements has been made regarding our long term gas contract due to expire at the end of this year: it will be amended in a way that we can use the amount of gas we have not consumed so far next year. So we do not have to pay for the gas we have not consumed, Mr. Szijjártó explained. Negotiations are still ongoing between companies experts, he added.
In addition, they also reviewed the successful cooperation between Hungary and different regions of Russia. “It is important, especially if we consider how badly the sanctions of the European Union damaged Hungarian-Russian economic cooperation. It is due to these sanctions that Hungarian companies have suffered a 3 billion dollar loss in the last two years. That is why we put a special emphasis on regional cooperation in order to decrease and minimize our losses, the Minister explained.
The Ministers also talked about the fight against terrorism. Péter Szijjártó reiterated the standpoint of the Hungarian Government, which underlines the necessity of an agreement between the Transatlantic Community and Russia, because such an agreement could significantly improve the efficiency of the fight against Islamic State, “and should we fail to contain Islamic State, Europe will have to face severe consequences”.
Mr. Szijjártó also held talks with Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs on a 40 million dollar agricultural investment fund. The aim of the fund will be to improve volumes of agriculture, food industry, and trade, and also mutual investments.
During the negotiations with Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Slovenian-Hungarian government summit was discussed due to take place in January, and its most important topic will be mutual infrastructural and energy developments. “The fact that Romania and Croatia are not carrying on with the investments, which would allow reverse gas interconnectors to be realized, increases the importance of connecting the Hungarian and Slovenian gas pipeline systems. We are working on creating a two-way connection between the two systems”, he explained.
The investment has made it to the list of EU endorsed projects. The two politicians confirmed, too, that they will cooperate on the Koper port’s development due to its significance for Hungary’s foreign trade and economy; Hungary realizes the second highest turnover here.
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)