Budapest, April 21 (MTI) – Russia is as much part of Europe as countries in western or central Europe, the deputy speaker of Hungary’s parliament said on Tuesday.
“There are no good countries or bad countries, or more European and less European ones,” Sandor Lezsak told an international conference focusing on opportunities in cooperation between central Europe and Russia.
He said that the only way for European countries to co-exist is through understanding one another and respecting each other’s values and interests. “This is a message that must always prevail,” he said.
Vladimir Sergeyev, the Russian ambassador to Hungary, said there are evidently problems existing in relations between Russia and central Europe. He mentioned among these sanctions, the issues of security and the expansion of NATO’s borders, as well as a “lack of trust” between the two sides.
But concerning these “open and sincere dialogue” is most important, he told the conference held in Budapest.
Csaba Balogh, deputy state secretary of the foreign ministry, said one of Hungary’s main foreign policy goals was to ensure that EU-Russian relations could again be built within a regular normal framework.
There should exist a genuine strategic partnership between the EU and Russia, and between Hungary and Russia, he said. Russia will remain an essential factor for the EU, just as the EU will remain essential for Russia,” he said, adding that problems in Europe, and in the world, cannot be tackled without Russia’s inclusion, and certainly not against it, he said.