“Budapest is becoming the second base of operation of Polish airline LOT, which is contributing to the further development of links between the Central European region and the rest of the world”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at an economic forum in Krynica, Poland, on Wednesday.

At a podium discussion on the transport corridors being established on the territory of the countries of the Three Seas Initiative, Mr. Szijjártó pointed out: “Based on the new strategic cooperation agreement, there will be daily flights to New York from LOT’s Budapest base beginning next summer”.

He also reminded those present that the Polish national airline will be launching its air passenger service between Budapest and Seoul on 22 September, and will also soon be launching new services from the Hungarian capital to Prague, Stuttgart, Belgrade and Sofia. At the podium discussion, which was held jointly with the Polish minister of infrastructure and the Slovakian, Lithuanian and Latvian ministers of transport, Mr. Szijjártó said the Thee Seas Initiative, which is also aimed at developing the Central and Eastern European transport network, will have a chance of becoming a successful project “if words are also followed by deeds”. According to the Minister, the Initiative should concentrate on development projects that supplement the lack of existing north-south transport and energy links, and of a regional high-speed railway line.

With relation to the planned high-speed railway line linking Warsaw and Budapest via the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Mr Szijjártó said: “Hungary is spending 5 million euros on the preparation of the feasibility study, and the conceptual work within the Visegrád Group (V4) should be completed by the end of this year in such a way that it is taken into account within the European Union’s post-2022 multiannual financial framework and the high-speed railway line becomes part of the EU’s TEN-T network. With relation to energy links, he explained: “This is important for the diversification of gas shipments. Hungary remains solely dependent on Russian sources, because the decisive regional investment projects, the LNG terminal to be constructed at the Croatian island of Krk and the Polish-Slovakian interconnector, are not yet complete, and the American-Austrian company with the rights the Romanian Black Sea natural gas field have not yet come to a decision concerning extraction”.

The Krynica International Economic Forum, which is also known as the “Central European little Davos”, is being held for the 29th time this year. Over four thousand politicians, economists and experts are taking part in the conference, which began on Tuesday and will end on Friday. The Man of the Year Award, which was awarded to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in 2016, will be presented at the Forum’s gala evening on Wednesday. According to press reports, this year’s award is expected to be presented to Polish head of government Mateusz Morawiecki. In addition to the Man of the Year Award, the New Europe’s New Culture Award, named after Polish writer Stanislaw Vincenz, is also presented at each year’s event, and according to information acquired by Hungarian news agency MTI will this year be awarded to Hungarian literary historian Csaba Gy. Kiss.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)