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May 04, 2017

Hungary maintains partnership with Russia

The close cooperation between the two countries are certainly good for feeding political rumors. But on what gas would Hungarian industry run today, what fuel would Hungarian households use for heating if the gas purchase agreement had expired at the end of 2015, Hungary's foreign minister said

Hungary will continue its close partnership with Russia, Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has said.

According to the minister, Hungary is engaged in pragmatic, reasonable cooperation with Russia, the main reason being that 85 percent of the country's natural gas imports originate from there.

The minister made the remarks during the summit of the Confederation of Hungarian Employers and Industrialists this week and said that the close cooperation between the two countries is certainly good for feeding political rumors. But on what gas would Hungarian industry run today, what fuel would Hungarian households use for heating if the gas purchase agreement had expired at the end of 2015, he asked.

Western European countries are maintaining substantially closer relations with Russia, he added. Gazprom is not building the Nord Stream gas pipeline with Hungary, but with German, French, Italian and perhaps Austrian companies, he said. These criticisms do not emerge at times like this, he added.

Russia does not pose a direct security threat to Hungary, the minister said. He took the view that Moscow has no interest of any kind in perpetrating an act of aggression against a NATO Member State. At the same time, he accepts that the Poles and the Baltic States have a different view on the matter.