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Aug 29, 2017

PM Orbán holds talks with President Putin to secure Paks nuclear upgrade in 2018

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that "the real construction work will start in January and nothing will stop the investment from now on"

Hungary's foreign minister has confirmed that the upgrade of Hungary’s Paks nuclear power plant will begin early next year.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that "the real construction work will start in January and nothing will stop the investment from now on."

Minister Szijjártó made the announcement following talks between Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Russian President Vladimir Putin while he was in Hungary for the World Judo Championships.

According to government insiders, the two leaders made no new decisions but reviewed the implementation of their previous agreements.

MTI states that they agreed that “their joint decisions made earlier have started to bear fruit," Minister Szijjártó said.

PM Orbán and President Putin confirmed what János Süli, the Hungarian minister in charge of the upgrade project, and the president of Rosatom had agreed upon on Sunday, he said.

The minister revealed that the upgrade will start in January next year “after a 22-month delay” while Brussels reviewed the project's compliance with EU rules.

The project will cost an estimated 12 billion USD. As agreed previously, the contribution of Hungarian suppliers will account for 5 billion USD, namely 40 percent, the minister said.

Relations between Hungary and Russia have grown from strenght-to-strength of late. We recently revealed how Hungary's relationship with Russia has become better understood around the world due to the shift in international politics.

Following his meeting with Russian Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova in February, Minister Szijjártó said that "for the first time in years, the international political situation is such that it is having a favorable effect on the development of Hungarian-Russian relations."

“In recent years we have received continuous criticism from the western world for maintaining pragmatic relations with Russia, but today, these are the kind of relations that the western world is also aspiring to," the minister added.