Hungary's foreign minister has revealed that the Paks nuclear power plant upgrade is “the largest ever development project” in the country's economic history.
Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, made the remarks at a green forum in St Petersburg on Thursday.
According to MTI, the minister welcomed that the project had entered into “an active phase” after it had received overall approval by Brussels.
The next step for Hungary is to prepare the site for two new blocks, which will require one and a half years, he said.
Minister Szijjártó also revealed that Russia’s Rosatom, Hungary's project partner, has called a tender for a 770 million EUR contract to supply turbines for the new blocks.
The minister said he held bilateral talks during the day with the head of Rosatom and the CEO of gas company Gazprom, as well as with Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov and Minister of Energy Alexander Novak.
"It is good news that Hungarian-Russian economic cooperation has started to flourish again," the minister said, following a period during which Hungarian companies had suffered losses of billions of dollars due to EU sanctions imposed on Russia.
According to official statistics, bilateral trade increased by 46.2 percent in the first quarter of 2017 with a volume totalling 1.4 billion USD. Hungary’s exports to Russia went up by 27.8 percent to 500 million USD during the period.