“Hungary and Slovakia have built a predictable and reliable partnership that will help us both to address security, economic, and energy supply challenges more effectively than if we did not cooperate,” said Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Monday in Bratislava, where he met his Slovak counterpart Rastislav Káčer.
Péter Szijjártó stressed that both countries are reliable NATO allies, and Slovakia is contributing dozens of police officers to the protection of the besieged Hungarian-Serbian border, where so far this year some 255,000 illegal crossings have been prevented.
The Hungarian minister also pointed out that
Slovakia is Hungary’s second most important trading partner, with bilateral trade exceeding 13 billion euros last year, and a 43 percent increase this year.
In order to further expand relations, the links between the two countries are being continuously improved, with three bridges over the Ipel River and a road and ferry link to be completed next year, adding five new border crossings. Szijjártó said it was good news that the European Commission had approved a joint Hungarian-Slovak program for cross-border development worth €135 million with community funding in the current seven-year budget cycle.
The Hungarian minister then touched on the matter of energy supplies, saying that the interconnection of gas pipelines and electricity grids in the two countries had “proved to be a very good strategic decision.” He said that
electricity had now become the number one import product from Slovakia, after the recent developments had increased cross-border capacity one and a half times.
He also described the close cooperation in the nuclear energy sector as mutually beneficial and underscored that both countries are working to increase their capacities to improve energy security.
Featured photo via Facebook/Péter Szijjártó