The meeting between Viktor Orbán and Vladimir Putin is set to take place in Russia on February 1st, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó revealed the planned date in an interview with Russian news agency TASS. The main topics between the leaders of the two countries will include the Paks 2 nuclear power plant project, the extension of Hungary’s gas supply contract, and the production of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in Hungary.
One of the main topics on the agenda will be the Paks 2 nuclear power plant project, Szijjártó told TASS.
“We will discuss the forward progress of the preparation of the construction of the nuclear power plant,” the foreign minister added.
“We would like to see the two new reactors operational by the end of this decade. Because with these two new reactors, the current four reactors in place and with the solar investments which are in progress, Hungary will also be a self-supplier when it comes to electricity,” he said.
Szijjártó noted that the Orbán-led government would also like to negotiate about the extension of Hungary’s gas supply contract to increase the volume, as it would be favorable for the country due to the energy crisis. Hungary plans to increase the volume within a long-term contract.
The production of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Hungary will be another topic that Viktor Orbán will raise during his visit, the foreign minister said. “We are now constructing our national vaccine factory, which is going to be operational by autumn this year. And we want this factory to be involved in the production of Sputnik. And we have already started negotiations there,” Szijjártó said. “We would like to complete the negotiations as soon as possible. And by autumn we would like to be a manufacturing place for Sputnik, because we see that there’s a big market for the vaccines in the future. Sputnik has performed very well in Hungary. Almost one million people have been vaccinated by Sputnik and we have very good experience with it,” the Hungarian foreign minister noted.
PM Orbán also plans to “discuss the common space research project,” Szijjártó said. “We Hungarians would like to send a national research astronaut to the International Space Station by the middle of this decade to operate in the framework of cooperation with Russia.”
The Foreign Minister revealed at the end of 2021 that Viktor Orbán intended to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in early February. Orbán announced his plans to meet with Putin last December at a press conference, adding that a visit to Russia was possible. The Russian president and the Hungarian prime minister last met in Budapest in 2019.
Featured photo by Zoltán Máthé/MTI