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Hungary Opens Consulate-General In Kazan As Foreign Minister Eyes Eastern Markets

Tamás Székely 2015.04.13.

Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s minister of foreign affairs and trade, has opened a Hungarian consulate-general in Kazan. “It lies in Hungary’s interest to pursue pragmatic and successful cooperation with Russia on the basis of respect for one another and for international law,” he said. Szijjártó reaffirmed Hungary’s interest in a quick and peaceful resolution to the crisis in Ukraine. He also said that Hungary has an interest in the revival of effective cooperation between eastern and western Europe.

The minister said the EU sanctions against Russia and the subsequent Russian embargo on some European deliveries had hit hard the European nations. Hungarian export to Russia, for instance, declined by 510 million dollars, or 15%, in 2014. During the visit, the minister attended a session of the Hungarian-Russian economic mixed committee in which several agreements were concluded. He said the accords were aimed at boosting cooperation and counterbalancing losses due to sanctions in areas unaffected by the embargo.

Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó also said that Hungary’s forthcoming accession to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was expected to boost the country’s economic and financial relations, and consolidate the Hungarian companies’ presence on Asian markets. Membership will enable Hungary to get involved in decision-making in the potentially influential international financial organisation, and make it easier for Hungarian firms to take part in AIIB-funded projects, he said. The exact financial conditions of membership will be discussed during the accession talks, the minister said.

Meanwhile the left-wing opposition party Democratic Coalition said that neither ex-premier and party leader Ferenc Gyurcsány, nor Csaba Molnár, the party’s deputy leader, are among those affected by a Russian entry ban, DK said. Over two weeks ago Russian daily Izvestia reported that 15 Hungarian citizens, including a former prime minister, had been banned to enter Russia. In response, the party asked the Russian embassy for further information. In its formal answer, the embassy said that neither Gyurcsány, nor Molnár were among those banned from Russia.

via hungarymatters.hu photo: kormany.hu / MTI