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May 26, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Hungary discusses easing border restrictions with Austria, Czechia and Slovakia

Peter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said he has discussed easing border restrictions with his Austrian, Czech and Slovak counterparts.

 

Peter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said he has discussed easing border restrictions with his Austrian, Czech and Slovak counterparts.

In a post on Facebook, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are highly dependent on each another in the region. Economic ties between the four countries are also “highly active”, he said, noting the deep links between their border-region communities.

The minister added that Austria is Hungary’s top trading partner in the region, while Slovakia is its third most important; annual trade volume came to around 10 billion euros with both countries last year. “It’s therefore in our interest … to give new momentum to our economic and trade relations.” Protecting people’s lives is the top factor to be considered when phasing out border restrictions, he added.

Minister Szijjártó said the four countries have penciled in June 15 as the target date for starting to lift restrictions on their borders. Experiences of easing restrictions on Hungary’s borders have been positive so far, he said, noting the most recent decision to reopen the Hungary-Serbia border to the public.

The minister noted that he is scheduled to hold talks with his Polish counterpart on Wednesday and his Slovenian counterpart on Thursday.

A call center set up for advice on the coronavirus can be reached on +36-80-277-455 and +36-80-277-456 or by email koronavirus@bm.gov.hu