Hungarian foreign minister discusses migration, EU affairs in Lithuania
Vilnius, March 9 (MTI) – Hungary’s foreign minister discussed migration, EU affairs and bilateral ties with senior Lithuanian government officials in Vilnius on Thursday.
Péter Szijjártó agreed with Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and Foreign Minister Linas Antanas Linkevicius on the need to protect the EU’s external borders effectively.
It was another matter of consensus that the best solution for the EU would be to decide outside its territory whom to grant entry to the bloc, he told MTI over the phone.
The two sides agreed that assistance should be extended to those in need in their native land or its vicinity to help them return to their homes as soon as possible, the minister said.
The two sides agreed that the rights of EU citizens living and working in Britain must be protected even after Brexit, he said.
Szijjártó said that the EU sanctions against Russia had failed both politically and economically and must therefore be addressed on the highest EU forums. Although the Lithuanian negotiators assessed the situation differently, the two sides fully agreed on the need of guaranteeing Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.
Concerning bilateral ties, Szijjártó said that Hungary would participate in patrolling the Baltic airspace on a four-month mission again in 2019, similarly to a mission it had taken part in back in 2015.
He added that Hungary would dispatch 200 troops this year to serve in the Baltic states on a three-month assignment in partnership with the other three Visegrad Group countries.
Bilateral trade last year totalled a record 335 million euros, Szijjártó said, adding that the two countries had implemented several joint projects with loans from Hungary’s Eximbank, primarily in the food and the transport industries.
Szijjártó met Economy Minister Mindaugas Sinkevicius in the afternoon and gave a talk at the University of Vilnius.