Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary has a vested interest in preserving a stable, predictable and fair cooperation with Russia in certain areas.
After a meeting with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Skopje, Minister Szijjártó said the government rejected all forms of pressure aimed at forcing Hungary to stop all cooperation with Russia. “We pursue a foreign policy based on national interests and will not accept any pressurising from the outside, therefore we will cooperate with Russia in securing Hungary’s energy supply in the upcoming period just like before,” he added. He welcomed the progress of the expansion project at the Paks nuclear power station, saying that the construction of 2.7 km of a slurry wall had been completed at record speed, making it possible to continue with groundworks. “It remains a realistic goal to hold the so-called first concrete pouring ceremony next year and the new blocks … could be connected to the system in the early 2030s,” he added. He said Lavrov had assured him that Russia and Russian companies would fulfil their contractual obligations and supply natural gas and crude oil according to schedule. “As a result, Hungary’s natural gas supplies will remain guaranteed, despite Bulgarians imposing extra tax on natural gas delivered to Hungary, Serbia and North Macedonia via Bulgaria,” he said. The minister also said that he had told his Russian counterpart that Hungary would continue to support peace in Ukraine. “It is important to us that arms should not be fired in our region but peace talks should be started … in every international organisation Hungary stands up for keeping the channels of communication open, and for a ceasefire and the start of peace talks as soon as possible,” he said.
On another note, the foreign minister said on Facebook that Hungary’s interest lies in there being “civilised cooperation” between East and West. The world is facing a number of serious security challenges, Minister Szijjártó said, adding that “the global security situation has perhaps not been this bad since the end of the Cold War.” “The world was once divided into blocs because of East-West relations turning hostile, which turned out very badly for us, Hungarians,” the minister said. “Our interest lies in there being civilised cooperation between East and West, as that is something that benefits Hungary,” he said.