cooperation with Russia based on mutual benefits, respect – Daily News Hungary

Hungary sees Russia as a strategically important partner in the areas of economic cooperation, energy security and protection against the coronavirus pandemic, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday.

Szijjártó attended the announcement of the first Hungarian investment by Russian group Arnest, the foreign ministry said in a statement. The 17 billion forint (47 million euro) aerosol filling and metal container production plant to be built in Alsózsolca by the end of 2024 receives a state subsidy of 7 billion forints and training grants, and the investment will create 256 jobs. Szijjártó said that the proportion of investments from the East in the Hungarian economy was increasing, justifying the country’s policy of opening up to the East.

The agreement on the development project was reached despite sanctions against Russia and in the face of criticism of pragmatic bilateral cooperation, he added. Several international actors wanted to prevent cooperation, but, he added, the

The Hungarian government had a vested interest in a partnership based on mutual respect from which both sides benefited equally.

He accused Western European countries of aiming for the same cooperation while resorting to hostile language, “motivated by political correctness”, and

sign “huge trade deals” in Russia or with Russia.

Since the introduction of European Union restrictions in 2015, trade between EU member states and Russia has increased by 16%, Szijjártó said, noting that German exports have increased by 21% and exports 44% French.

If the government had not pursued a foreign policy based on national interests and had instead bowed to pressure, Hungary would have had far less success in fighting the pandemic, ensuring energy security and achieving economic, he said.

Trade between Hungary and Russia increased by 51% last year and Hungarian exports increased by 15%, exceeding $2 billion, he added. The output value of Hungary’s chemical industry grew by 41 percent last year, reaching 7 trillion forints, and the sector currently employs nearly 95,000 people, he added.

Read also Opposition party says Russia shapes Hungarian foreign policy

Source: MTI

Laura T. Thrasher