During an annual parliamentary hearing, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary was unwilling “to make a political-ideological issue” out of its gas supplies. He noted the agreement Hungary concluded with Russia’s Gazprom that ensures gas supplies to the country from the west and the south. Speaking about trade, Minister Szijjártó said the policy of opening to the East “had worked”, noting that 2021 will be the third consecutive year when most foreign investments have been made by eastern investors, to the tune of 4.5 billion euros so far.
Meanwhile, Zsolt Németh, the head of the committee, called the renewal of the minority ministerial committee an important achievement of Hungary’s Council of Europe presidency. According to MTI, Minister Szijjártó responded by saying that “the door was slammed on national minorities in Brussels, so we had to open another one”. Asked about Hungary’s relations with Ukraine by Attila Mesterházy, the committee’s deputy head for the opposition Socialists, Minister Szijjártó said that bilateral relations had improved with almost all of Hungary’s neighbours. Ukraine, however, was different case, he said, citing continued violations of the rights of ethnic Hungarians. “Hungary for this reason continues to block ministerial level talks between NATO and Ukraine,” he said, suggesting that there may be a similar measure in talks with the EU if there was no progress. Asked about relations with Romania by Barna Pál Zsigmond, of ruling Fidesz, Minister Szijjártó said the government would seek cooperation with the neighbouring country’s new government.
Photo credit: MTI