Szijjártó meets with Lavrov in Budapest


Photo by MTI/Lajos Soós.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Budapest on Tuesday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

At a joint press conference after the meeting, Szijjártó said negotiations on bringing licenced production of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to the planned national vaccine plant in Debrecen are at "an advanced stage". The necessary technology transfer is expected to take place by the end of 2021, allowing production to start by end-2022, he added.

Szijjártó noted that Hungarian oil and gas company MOL recently started construction of a HUF 4 billion bitumen plant in Tatarstan and said talks on a HUF 18 bln production base Russian cosmetics company Arnest plans in Alsózsolca are moving forward.

He said 443 carriages of a 1,000-unit, EUR 1 bln order from Egypt's state railway company that Hungarian and Russian partners are filling had been delivered. He added that 47 of the carriages were assembled in Dunakeszi, north of Budapest, where half of the order will eventually be filled.

He said talks on the delivery of an additional 200 sleeper cars to Egypt are also underway. 

Szijjártó said he would travel to St. Petersburg on Monday to finalize a new long-term gas delivery contract with Gazprom. He added that the 15-year contract could be signed in the fall, replacing the current one that expires at the end of 2021.

He said Hungarian low-fare carrier Wizz Air will set up a base in St. Petersburg and increase its number of flights to the city.

Magyar Eximbank has opened a USD 600 million credit line to support partnerships between Hungarian and Russian businesses, he said.

Hungary will participate in a capital raise in the Budapest-based International Investment Bank (IIB), he added.


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