“Hungary is a committed supporter of the Eastern Partnership Programme, meaning it is continuing to support the efforts of countries that were previously regarded as “Eastern” and which are committed to the European perspective in the strongest possible terms”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó made absolutely clear to his negotiating partners during his official visit to Chisinau, he said in a telephone statement to Hungarian news agency MTI.

Mr. Szijjártó held talks with Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Tudor Ulianovschi, who was recently appointed to head the Ministry, and was received by President Igor Dodon and Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Iurie Leancă.

“We regard Brexit and the fact that there will be fewer of us in the European Union from now on as a regrettable process”, Mr. Szijjártó said. He explained that the EU can only become stronger if it is literally capable of looking beyond its own borders and of establishing a strategic and effective cooperation in both a political and economic sense with those countries that are striving to achieve European integration.

“The reinforcement of the Eastern Partnership Programme is in Hungary’s interests, and it is also in its interests for Moldova to be afforded the most tangible possible perspective of achieving European integration as one of the programme’s frontrunners”, the Minister added.

“This is also in our security interests in view of the fact that the more allies the EU has in the East, the stronger it will be. This is also all in our economic interests”, Mr. Szijjártó said, drawing attention to the fact that Hungary was capable of increasing its exports to Moldova by 8 percent year-on-year, which as a result exceeded 100 million euros in 2017. This is an extremely important new dimension, he said.

Hungarian company Richter has a ten percent share of the Moldovan pharmaceuticals market, and during the Minister’s visit to Chisinau an environment cooperation agreement was concluded according to which Hungarian water industry solutions will be applied in Moldova within the fields of agriculture and water management. The Minister also mentioned that Hungary is providing thirty scholarship places for students from Moldova to attend Hungarian universities, which the country is making full use of.

“Hungary’s position is clear: Moldova has fulfilled the required conditions, and accordingly the next instalment of the European Union’s microfinance instrument must be transferred to Moldova so that it can continue the required economic reforms”, Mr. Szijjártó stated.