“A war seems to be developing in world trade, and accordingly it would be in the clear economic interests of Europe to rebuild its cooperation with Eurasia, fundamentally meaning Russia”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared in a telephone statement to Hungarian news agency MTI from Dubai, where he is attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Future Councils.

The Global Future Councils hold sessions in 35 sections, in which lectures are given and debates are held. Members of the council are chosen each year on an invitational basis. Mr. Szijjártó was invited to be part of the section on the regional future of Europe for the 2018-19 period.

At the section’s meeting in Dubai on Monday, the topic of which was opportunities for cooperation between Europe and Russia, in addition to the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, lectures were also given by Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák and Russian Minister for Economic Development Maxim Oreskin, in addition to which several Russian governors also attended the session.

“The global economy is currently undergoing extremely rapid and deep-rooted change, and a war seems to be in development in world trade”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

He pointed out that European Union leaders had previously supported the establishment of a commercial region from Lisbon to Vladivostok. ”It would be good to return to this concept”, he underlined.

“We must recognise, however, that we are far from achieving this today. Economic and trade relations between Russia and Europe are for the moment moving in an extremely bad direction. It must be acknowledged that significant Russian-European economic cooperation exists, but that this is based on a double standard in view of the fact that, under the surface, companies from Western European countries are concluding huge deals with Russian enterprises”, he said.

“We believe that there is no place for a double standard here, meaning that economic relations between the European Union and Russia should be rebuilt in general, because that is what would serve the interests of the EU and all EU countries in the current global economic situation. The technological level of the economy is extremely high in Europe. If we could couple this with the sources of raw materials available to the east of us, Europe’s competitiveness could be significantly increased. However, the rebuilding of Russian-European cooperation must occur based on respect for each other’s rights and international law”, the Hungarian Minister declared.