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Jul 05, 2017

Hungary is interested in the normalization of American-Russian relations

“We have learned history’s clear lesson that if East and West, Russia and the United States, maintain good relations, then that is good for Central Europe," Hungary's foreign minister said

Hungary's foreign minister has said that the normalization of American-Russian relations is in country's national interest.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign of Affairs and Trade, informed Russia's foreign minister of the news via telephone, following talks with his counterpart in Moscow on Tuesday.

“We have learned history’s clear lesson that if East and West, Russia and the United States, maintain good relations, then that is good for Central Europe, but if there exists a bad relationship between the eastern and western powers, then Central Europe always ends up on the losing end," Minister Szijjártó said.

“Moscow also has high expectations with relation to the first official meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg," the minister said.

In relation to European security, Minister Szijjártó confirmed to Lavrov that Hungary has an interest in achieving peace in Syria and is extremely grateful for all international efforts to achieve this goal.

MTI stated that Lavrov also showed great interest in the EU infringement proceedings launched against Hungary for refusing the resettlement of refugees, according to the foreign minister.

Minister Szijjártó assured his Russian counterpart that Hungary will not bow to any pressure and will not allow illegal immigrants to enter the country.

The Hungarian delegation also signed a 500 million HUF (1.6m EUR) agreement for Hungary’s Dunaferr steelworks to buy modern machinery from a Russian company, which the minister said would boost Dunaferr’s output, and create more jobs in Hungary.

Hungary and Russia also signed an agreement for a Hungarian company to build a sports and recreation center in Chelyabinsk, at a cost of 17.5 billion HUF.

“We can once again say that Hungarian-Russian economic ties and trade relations are about success” after years of losses due to the economic sanctions imposed on Russia, the minister said.

This is good news for Hungarian companies and the Hungarian people in general because the development of bilateral economic ties will generate jobs for Hungarians at Hungarian companies, he added.

Bilateral trade turnover increased by 30 percent over the first four months of 2017 after declining over the past few years, Minister Szijjártó said.

Pharmaceuticals exports grew by 40 percent during the period, and Hungarian wheat exports to Russia grew by 88 percent over the first four months of the year.

Minister Szijjártó also noted that investments by MOL in Russia have reached 1.3 billion USD. He also confirmed that the company had prepared a new development plan for its oil fields in the country.

The minister also touched on the tourism sector, noting that the number of Russian tourists visiting Hungary had grown by 39 percent and had exceeded 50,000 over the first four months of the year.