Economic cooperation between Hungary and Russia is now on a path of improvement for the first time since the European Union introduced sanctions against Russia, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said in Hamburg after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
He said bilateral cooperation had suffered due to European sanctions but the Hungarian economy was again benefiting thanks to earlier bilateral agreements. Szijjártó mentioned as examples new development projects by the Russian owner of Hungary’s Dunaferr steelworks and the joint bid in an Egyptian tender by Hungarian and Russian companies to manufacture 700 railway carriages.
He added that obstacles were being removed in the way of the planned Paks nuclear plant upgrade. Cooperation between businesses, mutual investments on each other’s markets and joint activities in third markets all serve to provide a counterweight to the negative effects of EU sanctions, he said, adding that his Russian counterpart confirmed this policy.
Szijjártó said that political dialogue was moving ahead in a transparent manner and all high-level Russia Hungary consultations were made public immediately. Official bilateral foreign ministerial meetings take place on a yearly basis, he noted, adding that last year these took place in Moscow while this year it was Budapest’s turn. The next meeting will take place in Moscow on Jan 23, he added.
Bilateral relations are based on “pragmatic and rational” cooperation. The minister said he was convinced that peace and security would only prevail in the international community if Russia-US ties return to “a rational course”. Budapest can contribute towards this goal, he said.