Budapest (MTI) – Georgia is a “very important” country for Hungary from the point of energy security, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said after talks with Georgian counterpart Irakli Garibashvili on Tuesday.
Orban said that since attempts to establish a gas pipeline bypassing Ukraine had failed, Georgia’s significance for Europe has grown considerably.
European energy security is difficult to imagine without Georgia’s contribution as a distributor or transit country, he said.
Orban expressed support for Georgia’s aspirations for Euro-Atlantic integration, and stated that the EU should grant visa waiver status to that country.
“We would like to see stability in the Caucasus region,” Orban said. Hungary will propose to the European Union that it should prepare a country-specific programme for Georgia, he added.
Georgia has been among the most innovative countries in the past 15 years and Hungary, too, always looks to its solutions, Orban said.
Georgia is an important trading partner for Hungary, Orban said, adding that the trade turnover grew by some 10 percent in the first 10 months of 2014. He noted that a Hungarian trading house will open in the capital, Tbilisi, in April. Hungary’s Eximbank has opened a 50 million dollar credit line to help the cooperation of small and medium-sized companies in the two countries, Orban said.
Garibashvili said there is great potential to be tapped in economic and trade relations between the two countries. Both the Hungarian and the Georgian governments are working hard to strengthen ties and boost economic cooperation.
He added that Georgia appreciates Hungary’s support for its territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as for its aspirations for Euro-Atlantic integration.
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and Georgian counterpart Tamar Beruchashvili signed a cooperation agreement before the press conference.