Berlin (MTI) – Hungary will continue to work in close cooperation with Germany to help Europe regain its strength, Peter Szijjarto, the Hungarian foreign minister, said in Berlin on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference after talks with Frank-Walter Steinmeier, his German counterpart, Szijjarto said that Hungary’s achievements in recent years enable the country to contribute to “making Europe strong again” rather than “be a burden on the EU”.
Concerning the crisis in Ukraine, Szijjarto said that Hungary is committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and is proud of the fact that “up to recent times Hungary supplied the largest amount of gas from central Europe to Ukraine”. He added that “Hungary will always be loyal to Europe’s joint decisions”.
Hungary is greateful to Germany for its support for Hungary “to come back from the rear to the forefront”, Szijjarto said. He noted that Germany was one of Hungary’s most important allies, and its number one business and investment partner.
In terms of energy security, Szijjarto appealed for Germany’s support to completing a south-north gas link in the region.
Steinmeier said at the presser that Germany wants to further develop political, business, and cultural ties with Hungary. He added that bilateral relations need to be built “within a framework of a shared European values”.
Concerning Ukraine, Steinmeier said that “retaining the EU’s attraction” requires cooperation based on solid foundations. In terms of democratic values and a rule of law, the EU “must set an example”, leaving “no doubt that each member state is committed to constitutional principles and civil freedoms”.
Answering a question on Russia, Szijjarto said that Hungary seeks a “balanced, healthy, and pragmatic” cooperation with Russia, but added that violating international laws was unacceptable. Hungary welcomes that the EU had come up with a uniform position on the matter and “will always observe that stance”, he added.
Steinmeier was asked about the South Stream gas pipeline, and he said that he has questions to put to the Hungarian government, and “Hungary should provide answers”.
Photo: MTI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs