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Hungary's interest lies in the improvement of cooperation between the West and Russia, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Budapest.

Hungary also benefits if relations between western and eastern Europe, NATO, and Russia are good, the prime minister said. Orbán noted that Hungary and Russia have been organising high-level summits for reviewing the state of bilateral relations for a number of years now.

On the topic of economic cooperation, the prime minister said 2018 had been the first year trade turnover between the two countries had increased since the sanctions against Russia were imposed, exceeding 6 billion dollars.

Russia considers Hungary an important partner in supplying gas to Europe, the Russian president said at the joint news conference. The mechanism allowing Hungary and Russia to cooperate at the highest level has been in place for several years now and has been successful, especially when it comes to trade and economic relations, Putin said. The two countries are now looking to diversify their relations, the president said. He added, at the same time, that the area of energy was still the two countries’ top priority.