Hungary-Russia economic ties are transparent and “in line with the interests of the Hungarian economy and domestic businesses”, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday.
Szijjártó told a press conference that whereas Europe highlighted its disputes with Russia, in fact western European states had quietly built close cooperation with Russia. The majority of Russia’s top ten trading partners are European Union or NATO members, Szijjártó said.
He noted that
Dutch-Russian trade had increased by 23 percent since 2017, French-Russian trade by 40 percent, and the trade between Germany and Russia by 56 percent.
Meanwhile, small countries have borne the brunt of the fallout of sanctions against Russia, he added.
Hungary has lost 8 billion dollars in export revenues due to those sanctions, he said, adding that Hungary’s current cooperation with Russia, however, would help to keep bilateral trade on a growth path.
Szijjártó praised investments and cooperation between the two countries’ companies and noted a contract worth over one billion US dollars a Hungarian-Russian consortium has won to produce 1,300 railway carriages.
The minister mentioned Hungarian pharma Richter, which is building a plant in Russia with a capacity to produce a 2 billion pills each year. He also mentioned other Hungarian investment projects in Russia, such as those by medical equipment producer Sanatmetal and animal fodder producer Agrofin, as well as construction of a meat processing plant and a dairy near Moscow as joint ventures with Russian partners.
Hungary is Russia’s fourth largest seed supplier, involving 60 Hungarian producers whose annual exports amount to 73 million euros, Szijjártó said.
Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova called
Hungary a key partner in central Europe.
She said bilateral trade has increased by 30 percent in the past two years, its turnover reaching 7 billion dollars. She said energy is a crucial area of cooperation especially nuclear energy and Hungary’s Paks upgrade project.