Russian embargo moves should be monitored in order to ease their impact on the Hungarian economy, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said on Thursday.

Mr Varga told public radio Kossuth that Hungary is keeping a close eye on Russia, more precisely, the range of products on which an embargo is introduced.

Hungary's total exports to Russia amounts to about 2.5 billion euros. The Hungarian economy is not indifferent to Russia's trade bans, but a dramatic fallback should not be feared, he said.

So far most of the moves affect agriculture, a sector where Hungary is less vulnerable than for instance Greece or Poland. However, Hungarian agriculture still suffers a loss of about 70 million forints (223,000 euros) a day on goods it is unable to export. A new ban on vehicles or pharmaceuticals could pose further damages to the Hungarian economy, Mr Varga stated. Hungary's vehicle exports to Russia amount to 70 billion forints, and further, there is an indirect effect through German factories which operate in Hungary, he added.

Earlier in the week Varga urged a meeting of the Hungarian-Russian economic mixed committee to discuss how "Hungarian-Russian economic relations could be kept alive."

(Ministry of National Economy)