Budapest, May 6 (MTI) – It is unlikely that European Union sanctions against Russia will be lifted before the end of the year, a foreign ministry official said on Wednesday.
In an interview to public television news channel M1, Laszlo Szabo, parliamentary state secretary, noted that Russia had been Hungary’s biggest trading partner outside the EU. He said that the sanctions notwithstanding, care must be given to ensuring that “the old, good relations should endure”.
He noted that exports to Russia accounted for 10 percent of agricultural exports, 10-15 percent of machinery and over 30 percent of chemical and pharmaceutical exports.
Once restrictions have been lifted, Hungary’s exports to Russia can very quickly return to their former levels, he said, adding that it was an important development that Russian auditors had recently assessed several farming companies to arrange the necessary quality assurance in the case of such an eventuality.