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Hungary-Russia economic ties are transparent and “in line with the interests of the Hungarian economy and domestic businesses”, according to Hungary’s foreign minister.

Péter Szijjártó told a press conference that whereas Europe highlighted its disputes with Russia, in fact western European states had quietly built close cooperation with Russia. The majority of Russia’s top ten trading partners are European Union or NATO members, he said. He noted that Dutch-Russian trade had increased by 23% since 2017, French-Russian trade by 40%, and the trade between Germany and Russia by 56%. Meanwhile, small countries have borne the brunt of the fallout of sanctions against Russia. Hungary has lost 8 billion dollars in export revenues due to those sanctions, he said, adding that Hungary’s current cooperation with Russia, however, would help to keep bilateral trade on a growth path.

Szijjártó praised investments and cooperation between the two countries’ companies and noted a contract worth over one billion US dollars a Hungarian-Russian consortium has won to produce 1,300 railway carriages. The minister mentioned Hungarian pharma Richter, which is building a plant in Russia with a capacity to produce 2 billion pills each year.