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Russian foreign minister: Hungary ‘important, reliable partner’

Hungary is an important and reliable partner for Russia, and bilateral relations offer serious potential, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (pictured) said prior to his official visit to Budapest today in an interview with Hungarian daily Magyar Hírlap.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Presidential Press and Information Office)

Lavrov shared Moscowʼs acknowledgement of Hungarian leadership being committed to further developing ties between the two countries, Magyar Hírlap reported. 

Lavrov called the upgrade of Hungary’s sole nuclear plant in Paks of “strategic importance”, noting that a significant amount of the work on the upgrade is being carried out by Hungarian professionals and businesses. He acknowledged the international attention on the upgrade and added that he is sure the Hungarian government will be able to answer all questions being posed by Brussels in connection with the project.

The foreign minister stressed that Russia does not want to “close up, but is open to equal and mutually advantageous cooperation opportunities”, the paper reported. Lavrov told the paper that he is disheartened to see how the European Union “depends on Washington in a political and economic sense”, adding that the relationship between his country and the EU has “become hostage to the irresponsible politics of Ukraine”. However, Lavrov stressed that Moscow is willing to cooperate with a “strong European Union that is able to build international ties driven by its own interests”, the Hungarian paper reported.

Lavrov arrived in Budapest today to meet Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and Hungaryʼs Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, according to reports. The officials are expected to discuss questions of economic cooperation between the two countries, as well as Hungarian machinery and food industry investments in Russia.