After talks with his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico in Budapest on Tuesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungary-Slovakia relations are at a high point as one backs the other in the European Union in economic and energy-security terms.
At a joint press conference, PM Orbán welcomed Fico’s return to office, adding that “we have long been waiting for this meeting”. He noted that their first bilateral meeting had taken place in April 2012 with the current one being the 33rd, “perhaps a European record”. Orbán said continuity, security and stability were the most important political values, calling long-term bilateral relations such as that of Hungary and Slovakia “highly valuable” which he said were serving the interests of both countries’ peoples. PM Orbán said that the interests of Hungary and Slovakia were “at least 99% in the same direction”, and sovereignty was important for both countries. “On Hungary’s part — and I sense identical feelings here — we are unhappy about Brussels’ initiatives for a super state; we are not at all happy about efforts to make illegal migration legitimate, and we want to protect our borders and have a say about who we allow to enter the country,” Orbán said. He also thanked Fico for Slovakia’s police presence at the southern borders of Hungary.
In terms of economic cooperation, PM Orbán welcomed as “fantastic data” that Slovakia is Hungary’s 3rd largest trading partner with a steady annual volume of 15 billion euros worth of bilateral trade. He noted that Hungary ensures the transit route for oil supplies to Slovakia while receiving one-fourth of its electricity imports via that country. The agreement concluded with the Slovak prime minister in 2014 has been fully implemented, Orbán said, noting the opening of 20 new border crossings in addition to the existing 20 which he said “have greatly contributed to a tangible improvement of the quality of life of those living in the border area”. “Today, we also agreed on preparing a second Hungarian-Slovak cooperation package and decided to set up a committee tasked with the coordination,” said PM Orbán.