Peter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on Thursday, inaugurated a new ferry service between Neszmély in Hungary and Radvaň (Dunaradvány) in Slovakia.
Minister Szijjártó noted that the 2.2 billion forints (EUR 5.9m) project was co-financed through European Union support. The service will have the capacity to carry 80 pedestrian travellers or 40 pedestrians and 8 vehicles and will run 8 times a day on weekdays and 16 times a day on weekends, a ministry statement quoted Szijjártó as saying. Having as many border crossing points as possible between Hungary and its neighbours is of strategic importance, Szijjártó said. Whereas in 2010 Hungary and Slovakia had just 22 border crossing points between them, they now have 36, owing to an agreement between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and former Slovak premier Robert Fico, Szijjártó said. “The opening of every such crossing point spares us an unworthy situation,” Minister Szijjártó said, noting that the Slovak minister had to travel an hour by car from Radvan to get to a point which he could see from across the Danube.
Minister Szijjártó said Hungary and Slovakia will open four more crossing points this year, namely three bridges over the River Ipoly and one road crossing in the east. Being a landlocked country makes it strategically important for Hungary to have enough border crossing points with its neighbours, Szijjártó said. This is especially true in the case of Slovakia, with which Hungary shares its longest border section, he added. Slovakia is Hungary’s top trading partner, with bilateral trade turnover reaching a record 17 billion euros last year, Minister Szijjártó said, adding that it was the fourth most important investment destination for Hungarian businesses. He praised bilateral cooperation, saying Hungary and Slovakia contributed to each other’s economic growth and security.