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Hungary regards East-West cooperation as a great opportunity rather than a risk, whereby many can profit, Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Given the war in Ukraine and the related sanctions, Eurasian cooperation has suffered a big blow, the ministry, quoting Szijjártó, said in a statement. With the collapse of growth based on advanced Western technologies and Russian energy sources, combined with skyrocketing inflation, many countries faced difficulties, even though they were not responsible for the situation, he added. Szijjártó also noted the Middle East conflict which has compromised safe navigation in the Red Sea, resulting in freight having to circumnavigate expensively. All this has negatively affected Hungary, which is among the ten most open economies in the world, he said. The minister referred to rising energy costs and inflation, which jumped from two percent to 27%, “exclusively owing to external influences”. He said the European Union then decided to heap pressure on Hungary’s “conservative, patriotic” government by freezing Hungary’s community funding. “But we’ve survived,” he said, adding that 2024 would be “much easier”, with falling energy prices and inflation as well as the partial release of EU funds.