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Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has paid a visit to Chişinău, accompanying a shipment of 100,000 surgical masks and 5,000 protective medical gowns donated to Moldova. The arrival of Hungarian aid to Moldova was reported by Foreign Minister Oleg Ţulea during a joint press conference with Szijjártó broadcast live on the Hungarian minister’s Facebook page. Moldova asked for help in the fight against the epidemic from the European Union, and, separately from Hungary. Help was requested via two channels: on bilateral basis and under the arrangements of NATO.
Szijjártó noted that Hungary has received many millions of items of protective gear from China and has also developed its own mask production capacity, so it was in a position to offer some of the kit to Moldova. The prime ministers of the two countries recently signed a strategic partnership agreement, he noted, adding that Hungary “takes strategic partnership and friendship seriously”. Hungary is a dedicated supporter of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership, he said. It is important that the EU should have allies in the East, and Budapest believes that Eastern Partnership countries should also receive sufficient support from the EU, Szijjártó said. This help is especially needed urgently because, according to information from Moldova, a large part of those infected work in health care, he added.
“As the representative of a Christian Democratic government, I would like to express our great respect for the local Social Democratic government’s activities enforcing national interests,” he said. “We also believe that Hungary comes first, and we respect countries that give priority to their national interests,” he added. Szijjártó said Hungary calls on the European Commission to resist employing political discrimination against Moldova, and it should transfer the remaining 70 million euros of 100 million euros of financial aid it has allocated to the country without delay. He added that the commission should transfer 100 million euros for the fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic. He said Hungary and Moldova had developed excellent cooperation on the transit of goods and people during the pandemic. Hungarian companies OTP Bank and Richter are market leaders in the banking and pharmaceuticals sectors, respectively, in Moldova, he noted. “We also have a selfish interest in Moldova becoming as successful as possible and restarting its economy,” he added. Ţulea thanked Hungary for its help in repatriating thousands of Moldovan citizens under the epidemic restrictions.