Orbán Pledges Support for Moldova's EU Accession

EU

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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungary would "unconditionally" back Moldova's European Union membership after a meeting with his Moldovan counterpart, Dorin Recean, in Budapest on Thursday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Orbán said the EU was in need of "new energy" and "balanced, stable countries, populated by people who want to work".

He noted that eight years, "a regrettably long time", had passed since Moldova signed an Association Agreement with the EU and expressed hope that an acceleration of accession negotiations could "make up for lost time".

He said tariff-free ties between Moldova and the EU would be good for Hungary. Hungary will work to re-launch a direct flight between the two countries, he added.

Orbán pointed to Hungary's exports of pharmaceuticals and food products to Moldova. Hungarian companies are also present on the banking and air passenger markets, he added.

Hungary signed a strategic partnership agreement with Moldova four years earlier and bilateral trade now stands around USD 200 million a year, he said.

Recean acknowledged Hungary's support for Moldova's EU integration and said the country was counting on that backing in the future, too.

He issued an invitation to Chisinau to Hungarian investors and business leaders and said there was "enormous potential" for bilateral ties in the areas of IT, farming, energy, finance and infrastructure.

Recean pressed for cooperation in the energy sector expanding to the region and said talks had touched on the possibility of gas deliveries.

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