“Hungary and Austria will be tightening their cooperation even further in the upcoming period in the interests of mitigating the negative effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic and rebooting the economy as soon as possible”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stated following a video meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg on Tuesday.

In a Facebook post, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade reported on the fact that another border crossing point between the two countries will be opened on Wednesday morning to supplement the eight already functioning; the one linking Fertőrákos and Sankt Margarethen im Burgenland (Szentmargitbánya). He highlighted the fact that commuters need an alternative route because of heavy traffic and long waiting times. Mr. Szijjártó declared that the bilateral agreement between the two countries on international freight transport has been successful, and this is an extremely important issue in view of the fact that in addition to protecting the health and lives of citizens, assuring the unhindered flow of goods is also an important task. The Minister emphasised that Austria is Hungary’s second most important trade partner, and if freight transport were to come to a standstill it would cause major disturbances to the functioning of the country. He added that rail transport between the two countries is also functioning relatively well.

Mr. Szijjártó said he and his Austrian counterpart had also discussed the major challenges facing the European Union, and amongst other topics they also discussed migration, with relation to which the two governments represent a “very similar position”. He highlighted that he had made the Hungarian standpoint, according to which migration should be stopped, not managed, very clear. “This is partly why Hungary is helping the countries of the Western Balkans in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, so they can better withstand a possible future wave of migration”, he added.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade / MTI)