Foreign affairs: Deals with China, Russia, Slovakia advanced

Int’l Relations

Three countries, three ministers and advancement on three deals sum up the early week’s activity by the government. BBJ summarizes what has gone down in meetings in Budapest, Beijing and Bratislava thus far this week...

Hungary, China in exchange on legal system
Hungarian judicial officials met with some Chinese counterparts in Beijing earlier this week. Justice Affairs State Secretary Róbert Répássy informed local media that of particular interest to Hungary is China’s mediation system, touted as one which “enhances the efficiency of legal administration” and thus eliminates the need for many costly lawsuits. 

Chinese officials also reportedly welcomed a Hungarian overture to work together on European legal education; the Research Center for European Criminal Law was established in Shanghai last year with the involvement of Pécs University and Romania’s West University of Timisoara.
A future project to be undertaken by the Research Center will be translation and annotation of the Hungarian criminal code into Chinese.

Varga in talks of bilateral relations with Russia
National Economy Minister Mihály Varga met Sergei Zheleznyak, deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma, for talks on bilateral relations with special regard to cooperation in science and technology, in Budapest on Tuesday.

In a statement, the National Economy Ministry told MTI that the parties agreed that bilateral ties were promising and offered further cooperation in a number of areas. Varga and Zheleznyak agreed that relations would be promoted in the areas of energy, trade, health services, and research and development.

According to ministry statistics, Russia is Hungary’s third-largest trading partner and the biggest outside of the European Union. Bilateral trade between the two came to $7 billion in January-July. Exports of machinery, engineering products and processed goods totaled $2 billion. Imports from Russia, mainly energy, came to $5 billion.

Trial operation of Hungary/Slovakia gas pipeline to start in 2014
Trial operation of the gas pipeline being built between Hungary and Slovakia will begin in the middle of 2014, Foreign Trade State Secretary Péter Szijjártó said in Bratislava on Wednesday.

Commercial operation is expected to start at the beginning of 2015, Szijjártó said, speaking after a meeting of the Slovak-Hungarian Mixed Economic Committee.

The interconnector will be 115 kilometers long, running 95 km in Hungary and 20 km in Slovakia. It is expected to cost more than €160 million to build and is supported by a €30 million European Union grant.

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