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The Hungarian economy’s sustainable and balanced growth is prized by Russian investors and bilateral business ties are expected to further intensify, Mihály Varga, Hungary’s finance minister, said in Moscow after talks with his counterpart Anton Siluanov and Nikolay Kosov, head of the International Investment Bank.

The finance ministry cited Varga as saying that Russia is a leading economic and trade partner and it has a determining influence on Hungarian energy security. Farming, the food industry, pharmaceuticals, water management and tourism are also the driving forces of bilateral ties, he added.

Varga noted that declining trade on the back of the EU embargo was followed by a 30% increase in two-way trade in 2017 and by a 20% increase in the first 11 months of 2018. The minister said the performance of Hungarian companies in Russia is encouraging, especially energy company MOL’s investment of more than 1.3 billion euros and the rapid spread of Hungarian agricultural and health technology in Russia.