PM Viktor Orbán: The European Union must work together with Russia

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The expansion of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant by Russia’s Rosatom is the business of the century said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

The international dispute about the expansion of the Paks Power Plant is unjustified because the two countries have been working together in this area since the 1960s and they haven’t initiated anything new they simply continue this co-operation.

Hungarian-Russian relations are developing in the right direction, and without this dynamic economic co-operation Hungarian industry would not be as competitive as it is today.

We have had a long and valuable discussion with the Russian side. Russia is not an enemy but a partner of our country said Viktor Orbán at a joint press conference with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. It is gratifying that once a year, a meeting at the highest-level takes place said Orbán.

It is a miracle that in such an unfavorable global environment bilateral relations between the two countries developing so rapidly. Hungary's energy needs are closely linked to Russia's energy export said the prime minister.

In global policy issues Russia can't be ignored.

According to the prime minister, mid-year automatic extension of EU sanctions against Russia is unworkable, an open debate should be started in the EU regarding the extension of sanctions.

PM Viktor Orbán believes that the European Union and Russia should reach an agreement on economic cooperation as soon as possible, otherwise, Europe will be left behind in the global economic competition. Due to slow economic growth in the EU, we can’t afford the luxury not to work together with a partner that can give an impetus to EU’s sluggish economic performance.

The prime minister also talked about the importance of expanding cultural and educational relations with Russia. He stressed that Hungary offers 200 scholarships to Russian university students - this move can consolidate long-term relations between the two countries.

The Russian president said that Hungary was an old and reliable partner of Russia; as a result, it is important to expand bilateral cultural, and educational links between the two countries further. In this context, Moscow offers 120 scholarships to Hungarian university students to study in Russian higher educational institutions.

The Russian president also stressed the importance of expanding economic relations between Hungarian and Russian regions; in this context, he noted that delegations from several Russian regions plan to visit Hungary in the near future.

The Russian president announced that a Hungarian-Russian intergovernmental commission will be set up to provide support for regional projects and initiatives in both countries.

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