“Bilateral relations between Hungary and Russia are in order; there are no open issues”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s State Secretary for Information and the International Representation of Hungary Tamás Menczer said on Hungarian M1 current affairs television on Thrusday in assessment of Wednesday’s meeting between the Hungarian Prime Minister and the Russian President.

Mr. Menczer highlighted the fact that the crucial issues in economic cooperation between the two countries are the procurement of natural gas and the Paks Nuclear Power Station project, and the aid of persecuted Christians within the field of political cooperation.

With relation to the procurement of natural gas, he said Russia will remain Hungary’s priority partner within this field, because although Budapest would like to diversify its gas procurement, the fundamental prerequisite for this is that “there needs to be gas and there needs to be a pipeline” from a southerly direction, and the required conditions for this are not yet available. On the subject of the Paks expansion project, he pointed out that this is the prerequisite for cheap and clean electricity, as well as for maintaining reduced utility charges and improving Hungary’s competitiveness.

The State Secretary also spoke about the fact that cooperation between the eastern and western halves of Europe, and the meeting of western technology and Russian raw materials, is in Hungary’s interests, because it in only through this that Europe can become competitive.

In response to a question concerning the fact that Hungary is often accused of practicing Russia-friendly foreign policy, Mr. Menczer said Hungary is practicing Hungary-friendly foreign policy. “Hungary is only taking into account Hungarian interests, and for instance it is in Hungary’s interests that Hungarian enterprises are present on the Russian market to an increasing extent within the fields of the food industry, agriculture, and the pharmaceutical industry, as is the fact that a Hungarian-Russian consortium has won a one-billion-dollar tender to supply Egypt with railway cars, and the fact that Hungarian-Russian joint venture companies are establishing a meat processing plant and a milk processing plant near Moscow”, he stated.

Speaking on Kossuth Radio’s “Good Morning, Hungary!” show, the State Secretary emphasised that the Hungarian Prime Minister’s calendar has recently been filled with a string of “diplomatic record periods”, in view of the fact that he has held talks with the German Chancellor, the French and U.S. Presidents and the Chinese Premier, and the Turkish President will also soon be visiting Budapest. “All this proves that Viktor Orbán is regarded as a European leader who it is worth meeting, and whose opinion it is worth listening to”, Mr. Mentzer declared.