Predictable cooperation with neighbours, based on mutual respect, is made even more valuable in the current crisis situation, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday, adding that Hungary-Slovenia relations were extremely useful to both sides.
The ministry cited Szijjártó as telling a joint press conference with Slovenian Minister of Economic Development and Technology Matjaz Han that prices were skyrocketing as a result of the Ukraine war and sanctions which threatened recession in Europe. It is therefore all the more important to discuss developing economic cooperation, he said.
Szijjártó praised Hungary-Slovenia relations and said the sides planned to further develop them by mutually supporting investments in each other’s countries, which could significantly contribute to maintaining economic growth. He added that the foundations were solid, with bilateral trade turnover getting close to 3 billion euros last year and increasing by 30 percent in the first six months of this year.
Certain large Hungarian companies have become regional players, such as MOL, OTP and Wizz Air, he said. The first two companies are to become the largest participants in their respective markets and Wizz Air is developing a hub in Slovenia, he added.
He also said that an international test environment has been developed for self-driving vehicles in the Zalaegerszeg-Graz-Maribor triangle which will result in an advantage in competition. Hungary-Slovenia cooperation contributes to energy security between the two countries, with their interlinked electricity networks operating in test mode since June without any problems.
He welcomed the regional power exchange to be set up with the participation of Hungary, Slovenia and Serbia by the end of this year which he said could result in lower prices. The current recession is not caused by economic problems but by security challenges and Hungary is determined to be a “local exception” in a situation that threatens with continental recession, he said.
In response to a question, he said the escalation of the situation in Ukraine was clearly going in a dangerous direction and “we are in the very last minute to turn the events back”. “Instead of efforts that result in escalation and the use of war rhetoric, it is high time for Europe to shift the focus and concentrate all efforts on establishing peace,” he added.
He said he will participate in events of the Russia Energy Week on Thursday in order to talk about the importance of peace and to ensure that Hungary has no problems with energy supplies. “Those who criticise me for this do not want peace to return. And they do not care about ensuring that Hungarians get their energy supplies,” he added.
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