France and Hungary have concluded a deal on military cooperation and an agreement on nuclear energy.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó announced the deals on Tuesday after meeting his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Hungary’s armed forces have ordered twenty Airbus helicopters from France.
Meanwhile, two French companies, including a state-owned company, will have a major role in operating the current Paks nuclear power plant and in manufacturing turbines for the expanded Paks plant.
“We will continue to strengthen the French-Hungarian alliance that has emerged in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” Szijjártó said, adding that France and Hungary both adhere to the principle that the national energy mix must remain a national competence.
Hungary’s purchase of helicopters within the framework of NATO and European defence also raises the level of industrial defence cooperation, he said.
Szijjártó also said that French automaker Peugeot played “a major role” in boosting innovation in the town of Szentgotthárd, in western Hungary.
“On some political issues we disagree, but we agreed it’d be a waste of time to discuss them, so we’ll stick to real and important economic issues…” he said.
Szijjártó arrived in Paris for a high-level meeting the Franco-German donor coordination initiative on illicit firearms trafficking in the Western Balkans. The minister met German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and they reviewed Europe’s energy security.
It is in Hungary’s interest, he said, for the country to acquire its gas supplies from as many sources as possible, and it is negotiating with neighboring countries on alternative sources of gas while consulting with Russia concerning the period after the expiry of their long-term gas purchase agreement.