Predictable cooperation with neighbours based on mutual respect is especially valued in the current crisis situation, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told a joint press conference held with Matjaž Han, Slovenia’s economic development and technology minister. Hungary-Slovenia ties are “extremely useful” to both sides, the ministry cited Szijjártó as saying. With prices skyrocketing owing to the war in Ukraine and sanctions, discussions on developing economic cooperation are all the more important, he said.
Szijjártó said both sides planned to further develop ties by mutually supporting investments in each other’s countries. Bilateral trade turnover, he noted, approached 3 billion euros last year, increasing by 30% in the first six months of this year. Several large Hungarian companies such as MOL, OTP and Wizz Air have become regional players, he said. The first two companies are about to become the largest participants in their respective markets and Wizz Air is developing a hub in Slovenia, he added.
Szijjártó said Hungary-Slovenia cooperation contributed to energy security between the two countries, with their interlinked electricity networks operating in test mode since June without any problems. He welcomed the regional power exchange to be set up with the participation of Hungary, Slovenia and Serbia by the end of this year, which he said could lead to lower prices.
Answering a question, the minister said the escalation in Ukraine was clearly perilous and “we are at the very last minute to turn back events”. “Instead of … escalation and war rhetoric, it’s high time that Europe shift its focus and concentrate all its efforts on establishing peace.”
Szijjártó noted that he will participate in Russia Energy Week on Thursday. He said he would talk about the importance of peace. Further, he said the aim was to ensure that Hungary has no problems with its energy supplies. “Those who criticise me for this aren’t interested in a return to peace, and they don’t care whether Hungarians get their energy supplies,” he added.