Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary had an interest in building the strongest possible cooperation with Romania, adding that hopefully relations between the two countries would “keep going in the direction they’re headed in, which can benefit both countries”.
In response to a question at a press conference held jointly with Hunor Kelemen, head of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), Minister Szijjártó said the Hungarian government’s cross-border economic development schemes were successful, adding that Budapest and Bucharest were engaged in related talks, and the government was likely to be able to open a new round of applications.
Concerning the European Union’s decision to approve an additional 500 million euros for military equipment for the Ukrainian army, Minister Szijjártó said that although Hungary was not sending weapons to its north-eastern neighbour or allowing the transit of weapons deliveries through its territory into Ukraine, it was not blocking other EU member states from supporting Ukraine and respected their decision. “We expect the others to show the same respect to us and not comment on, label or criticise our decisions,” he said. Minister Szijjártó said the Hungarian people had made it clear in the election that they wanted Hungary to stay out of the war, adding that the government was committed to carrying out the will of the people.
On the topic of energy cooperation, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary had an interest in diversifying its natural gas resources and was prepared to begin talks on importing gas from Romania once extraction was under way in the country. Kelemen said the Transylvanian Hungarians who had backed Fidesz in the election had expressed their approval of the policy for Hungarians abroad the government had pursued over the last 12 years. The goals of the coming period will be to boost relations with the Hungarian ruling parties and to continue deepening the relationship between Hungary and Romania, he said.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter