“Following many years of decline, Hungarian-Russian relations will be characterised by success stories”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared on Wednesday following a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.

“We have succeeded in agreeing on the fact that Hungary will be purchasing more than 4 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia following 2020, in addition to which a direct air passenger route will be launched between Budapest an Kazan, and an agreement was also concluded with relation to the fact that a Hungarian-Russian consortium will be shipping 1300 railway cars to Egypt at a value of 1 billion euros”, he pointed out.

The Minister told reporters that a jointly financed Central European Oncology Centre will be established in Budapest, where the International Investment Bank will also be transferring its headquarters, adding that he is basing these announcements on the negotiations that he has held in recent days with three Russian ministers.

In addition to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, during the past two days the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade also met with Minister for Energy Alexander Novak and Industry Minister Denis Manturov.

In reply to a question from Hungarian news agency MTI, Mr. Szijjártó  said that during the Russian Energy Week conference in Moscow this week, the leaders of Western Europe’s largest energy companies, Total, Enel and Shell, who will be working together with Gazprom on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, were also there the podium next to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“So, there will be a major step forward in Western Europe’s energy security, and we would like there to also be a great step forward with relation to Central Europe’s energy security. And just as the people of Western Europe will be able to purchase gas in the north via a new transport route, we in Central Europe also demand this right for ourselves”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

“We demand that the Western Europeans and Brussels do not make it impossible for us to acquire new transport routes from the south (…) and do not boycott Balkan and Central European gas purchasing via the second Turkish Stream pipeline”, he added.

The Minister also told reporters that during their meeting he and Foreign Minister Lavrov had paid particular attention to the issue of protecting persecuted, Middle Eastern Christians.