Hungary mourns the UK’s decision to leave the European Union as a “big political and economic loss” for the bloc, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told the BBC’s Newsnight.
In the interview broadcast late on Thursday evening, the minister said the UK “had a very strong voice in the debate about the future of Europe and we were on the same side … this debate will now be unbalanced.”
Brexit might also harm the EU’s competitiveness if Britain succeeds in concluding free trade agreements with countries the EU has no agreements with, Szijjártó said. Hungary promotes a “fair, and balanced Brexit” in which EU grievances should not have a role, he said.
Answering a question about Hungary’s ties with Russia, Szijjártó said that the relationship was a pragmatic one. Central Europeans cannot afford to ignore Russia, he said. Hungary also hopes that US President Donald Trump would establish a good relationship with Russia, he added.
Szijjártó was in London attending a conference on reforms in Ukraine. He also met several members of the British government and attended a business event.