FM: Kazakhs and Hungarians are related peoples who find it easy to establish strategic relations

Minister Szijjártó reiterated his position that in his view the European Union should redraft its plan as regards the war in Ukraine.

Following a meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization of Turkic States in Astana on Friday, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Kazakhs and Hungarians are clearly related peoples which is why it is easy for them to establish strategic relations.

In an interview with Kazakh television channel Silk Way TV, Minister Szijjártó reiterated his position that in his view the European Union should redraft its plan as regards the war in Ukraine. The new plan should be for a ceasefire, peace talks and a peace agreement, and the development of a new European security architecture, he said. This new architecture must ensure security to Ukraine and it must be acceptable for Russia as well as guarantee an economic connection between Europe, Türkiye and central Asia, Minister Szijjártó added. Without security in central Asia, Europe will never be safe, he said, adding that “our relations must be a lot stronger in future”. The Turkic states can have an important role in preventing the re-emergence of blocs in the world, Szijjártó said, adding that Hungary’s aim continued to be to maintain global relations. He called for countries “to return to cooperation based on mutual respect” which the foreign minister said was key to ending wars and restoring peace. Szijjártó called the community of Turkic states in which Hungary has an observer status and an excellent platform for international cooperation. Speaking about bilateral ties, Szijjártó noted a strategic partnership agreement concluded in 2014 in the energy sector, a major area of Hungarian-Kazakh cooperation. “This year has been the most successful” in the implementation of that agreement, he said. Hungarian oil and gas company MOL, the biggest Hungarian investor in Kazakhstan, can start the extraction of natural gas together with its Chinese and Kazakh partners in December at the gas field in which it had acquired a share, Szijjártó said. He noted that Hungary had this year bought 630,000 tonnes of oil from Kazakhstan and planned further purchases in a bid to diversify the sources of its oil imports. The foreign minister called oil deliveries from Kazakhstan highly important also from the point of view that EU sanctions apply only to deliveries from Russia. Minister Szijjártó identified great potential in nuclear cooperation, noting that Hungary had been using nuclear power for four decades and had gained vast experience whereas Kazakhstan had huge reserves of uranium. A Hungarian company is participating in the green transition of the Kazakh city of Taraz building a solar park and delivering electric buses, Szijjártó said, expressing hope that “the project can be extended nationwide”. He said that another Hungarian state-owned electricity company will supply to Kazakhstan with further dry cooling systems in addition to the ones already in use at three power stations in that country. In education, Minister Szijjártó noted the signing during the current visit of a cooperation agreement on Hungary offering an additional 250 state scholarships to Kazakh students over the next three years. He also noted the two countries’ cooperation in the United Nations under which Hungary supports Kazakhstan’s initiative on the rehabilitation of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and the country’s bid for full membership in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).