“Hungary is providing assistance to Georgia on several levels to help it tighten links with the European Union and NATO”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI from Batumi, Georgia on Thursday.

The Minister was in the Eastern European country attending an international conference.

“It would clearly affect Central Europe, and therefore Hungary too, if stability, peace and development is not successfully realised in the European Union’s eastern neighbourhood”, he explained. “This could have a negative effect on Central Europe from both a security and economic perspective”, he stated.

“In contrast with certain Western European countries, Hungary is supporting cooperation between the European Union and its eastern neighbours with real action, not just words”, the Minister said. “Georgia clearly stands out from among the countries participating in the EU’s Eastern Partnership Programme, and the Government is providing it with assistance so that the NATO Membership Action Plan can finally be actualised, and closer cooperation with NATO becomes available to it”, Mr. Szijjártó emphasised.

The Minister said that in addition, 12 Hungarian observers are taking part in the EU’s monitoring mission in Georgia. “Hungary will be maintaining this mission in future. Furthermore, from September an employee of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, a diplomat, will be working at the Foreign Ministry in Tbilisi in the interests of supporting the country’s EU accession process. His task will be to assist Georgia’s preparations for European integration”, he stated.

Mr. Szijjártó explained that an agreement has also been reached on the inclusion of Hungarian enterprises in the sports, healthcare, tourism and infrastructure investment projects currently ongoing in Georgia, in the interests of which Eximbank is opening a 214-million-dollar credit line to enable Hungarian companies to be competitive on the Georgian market. In addition, Hungary is providing 16 million forints in funding towards a project in which Hungarian enterprises are assisting the modernisation of Georgia’s agriculture using Hungarian agrarian technologies. Furthermore, a Hungarian and a Georgian company have begun a joint military technology development project. “Several sectors of the Hungarian economy could profit from bilateral cooperation, and from the fact that Hungary is supporting Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations”, Mr. Szijjártó pointed out.

On the sidelines of the conference, Hungary’s chief diplomat met with Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, President Salome Zurabišvili and Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)