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Feb 23, 2017

Hungary says nuclear energy discrimination in Europe is unacceptable and Member States should decide what energy they use

"We expect the European Union to stop hindering the Paks expansion and to immediately issue the final authorization for the expansion of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant," Hungary's foreign minister has said

Hungary has said that nuclear energy discrimination in Europe is unacceptable and that every Member State should have the right to decide for itself what forms of energy it uses.

During a visit to Helsinki on Wednesday, Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that a Finnish nuclear power plant project that has similar Russian funding to that required by the Paks 2 plant has already been approved and the same should be done for Hungary.

"We expect the European Union to stop hindering the Paks expansion and to immediately issue the final authorization for the expansion of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, just as it issued the required permits for the construction of the Finish power station, which is being built using a similar construction. Hungary would like to increase its use of nuclear energy to enable it to move forward within the fields of both competitiveness and energy security," he declared.

The minister traveled to Finland to build bilateral relations with the nation in order to better the economic and security situation in Europe. “There is a strong political alliance between Finland and Hungary concerning the most important elements of the debate on the future of Europe," he said.

“There is agreement between the two countries on four corner points that are extremely important to Hungary from an economic and security perspective," he said.

“We agree that discrimination with relation to nuclear energy in Europe is unacceptable and that every Member State should have the right to decide for itself what forms of energy it uses. We will oppose all forms of regulations that could have a negative effect on nuclear energy," he added.

In relation to Brexit, both Hungary and Finland stressed that this must occur in a manner that is fair to the United Kingdom.

"The two countries are calling for an agreement that enables the continued existence of the closest possible economic cooperation between the UK and the EU. It would cause significant economic damage to the whole of the European Union, including Hungary and Finland, if the efforts of those European bureaucrats who want to punish the UK for exiting the EU were to come to the fore," Minister Szijjártó said.

“Helsinki and Budapest also agree on the need to reinforce the European Union’s defense capabilities. After the American presidential elections in November and Brexit (the referendum on the issue), it is more important than ever that we also reinforce the EU’s security pillar. Hungary’s proposal for the establishment of a joint European army is still on the table, and is waiting for a substantive debate to begin on the issue within the European Union," Minister Szijjártó continued.

Last year, Hungarian-Finnish bilateral trade flow exceeded 500 million euros. Finland also brought high added value investments based on its own research and development activities to Hungary last year, the minster said.