Hungary's relationship with Russia has become revered around the world due to the shift in international politics, Hungary's foreign minister has said.
Following a meeting between Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Russian Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova, Minister Szijjártó said that "for the first time in years, the international political situation is such that it is having a favorable effect on the development of Hungarian-Russian relations."
“In recent years we have received continuous criticism from the western world for maintaining pragmatic relations with Russia, but today, these are the kind of relations that the western world is also aspiring to," the minister added.
“The topics of discussion at Thursday’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin will include energy, education and heavy industry, in addition to several pharmaceutical industry and agricultural investment projects," Minister Szijjártó said.
The minister also mentioned that several agricultural projects have recently been realized in Russia based on Hungarian technology, and the government would like this trend to continue with relation to water management.
With relation to energy, the the minister said that the Hungarian government has requested, and "the Russian government has promised” a continued positive approach to oil and gas extraction in Russia on the part of Hungarian energy company MOL.
Minister Szijjártó also stated that Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty cannot be questioned and everyone must adhere to international treaties and laws, but the sanctions have done nothing to further the implementation of the Minsk agreements and have not proven to be an effective instrument in this respect. “There must be a top-level political debate within the EU on the extension of the sanctions," he said.
With regard to the Paks nuclear power plant expansion project, he said that if an opportunity arose that as financially more favorable for Hungary, then the government would take the necessary action, but no proposal of this nature has been put forward by the ministry for National Economy.