Press statement by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán after his meeting with President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

2 November 2023, Astana (Астана)

Mr. President,

First of all, we thank you for inviting us here to Kazakhstan. This gives us the opportunity to convey to you and the Kazakh people greetings and esteem from Hungary and the Hungarian people.

In the spirit of Kazakh-Hungarian friendship, it is within profound gratitude that I accept the award you have presented to me. I consider it an honour, and accordingly in the future I shall continue to work to strengthen strategic cooperation between our two countries. It is my sad duty to express my condolences to you, Mr. President, for the disaster that has occurred at the Kostenko mine. Our thoughts and prayers were and are with you all.

Regarding bilateral relations, Mr. President, nine years ago we decided to raise Kazakh-Hungarian relations to a high strategic level. In recent years we have worked hard, and this year has already brought the results of a great improvement. Although the volume of economic cooperation between our two countries is not high enough, the intensity of the improvement is extremely remarkable. We have achieved great growth, and have laid the foundations for increasing the volume of economic relations between our two countries by an order of magnitude. I am grateful to the President for the opportunity not only to talk about economic issues, but also – in light how bad the world is in terms of global security – to review international questions. We will be able to continue this tomorrow at the meeting of the Organization of Turkic States.

The Hungarian people pay great attention to kinship, Mr. President. We set out from very far away in the East and arrived in Europe, but we have a traditional understanding of life. The Hungarian people believe that life is essentially an alliance between their ancestors, those alive now, and their prospective descendants. I also believe this to be true. And in this respect you Kazakhs are part of our life, because you are part of our shared past. This is how we always think of Kazakhstan; and we are pleased that, in addition to political friendship, we now have strengthening economic ties. The most important thing I would like to mention, Mr. President, is that Hungary is a land-locked country, our energy supply is a key question, and it is important for us that we in Hungary can now gain access to oil not only from Russia, but also from Kazakhstan. The volume of this is not yet large, but the channel has been opened, and this is an extraordinary step forward for the security of our country. We are grateful to you for making this possible. Thank you for allowing the largest Hungarian energy company to produce gas here. Thank you for involving us in the roll-out of green energy, and being able to participate in the conversion of an entire city to green energy. Thank you for giving us the chance to cooperate in the nuclear industry. Internationally speaking, Hungary excels in this, and we are delighted to participate in your nuclear programmes, as well as in the training of specialists. And I am proud that 250 new Kazakh university students arrive in Hungary every year. This means that at any given moment, let us say right now, there are about a thousand young Kazakh people, young students, studying in Hungary – with Hungarian state scholarships, at Hungarian universities. This will also lay the foundations for our shared future.

Once again, Mr. President, we are grateful to be here. God bless Kazakhstan!