“In Washington, Hungary is regarded as a dependable ally that is offering a partnership”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Parliamentary State Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister Levente Magyar stressed in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI from Washington.

Mr. Magyar highlighted the fact that a major turnaround is being experienced in Hungarian-American relations and the change in direction of U.S. foreign policy that began with the presidency of Donald Trump has come to fruition, as a result of which bilateral negotiations are now conducted in the spirit of friendship and cooperation.

During his two-day visit to the U.S. capital, the Deputy Foreign Minister met with, amongst others, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell, Senior Director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council Fiona Hill, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, and two politicians from the U.S. Department of Energy, Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette and Assistant Secretary Theodore Garrish. He also met with representatives of the US-Hungary Business Council (USHBC), which is comprised of representatives of American enterprises with interests in Hungary.

According to the statement, the Deputy Minister discussed important issues such as Central European energy security and the related development projects, the renewal of defence cooperation between Hungary and the United States, and possible methods for coordinating Hungarian and American activities aimed at protecting persecuted Christian communities in the Middle East. “Assisting persecuted Christians in the Middle East in in close harmony with the Hungary Government’s principle of taking assistance to the citizens of countries that are in a difficult position on site, rather than following the misleading and deceptive mainstream European narrative, according to which we can help by reinforcing and supporting illegal migration processes”, Mr. Magyar stressed.

On the subject of negotiations on energy security, in reply to a question the Deputy Minister explained: “When we hold discussions on Hungary’s energy-related interests, towards the enforcement of which the United States can also contribute, we always state very openly that our main targets have remained unchanged for the past 30 years, because Hungary’s one-sided gas dependence is not a healthy state of affairs, which we have been working for many years to dissipate, while sparing no energy, money and political capital”.

However, he also underlined: “Hungary has thus far received no tangible assistance from either the European Union or the United States towards its energy diversification efforts”. He pointed out that what Hungary has achieved so far with relation to diversifying its energy procurement routes, it has done on its own steam and thanks to the cooperation it has established with its neighbours. “Hungary’s influence on the decisions of other countries and sovereign international players is limited, much more limited than that of the United States”, he added.

“The reduction of Central Europe’s dependence on Russian gas is currently dependent on Hungary”, he stressed, adding that “the Hungarian Government is counting on the assistance of the United States in facilitating the political decisions and economic processes that will result in several states in the Carpathian Basin and Central Europe making the decisions that are necessary to achieve energy independence”.

On the subject of Hungarian-American defence cooperation, the politician said he hadn’t negotiated on concrete pieces of business, but on the development of a legal framework for a new defence cooperation that would renew the current regulations and establish a system of conditions that conform to both U.S. and Hungarian interests, and which fully respect Hungarian sovereignty. According to Mr. Magyar, “the quality of bilateral relations will enable us to come to an agreement and conclude the new treaty within the relatively near future”.