In Budapest (Hungary), Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban held talks in restricted attendance format. According to the Kremlin, the talks were “focused on economic cooperation between Russia and Hungary and specific steps to boost trade and investment.”
Also the two sides discussed expanding cooperation in high-tech industries and the energy sector drew particular attention. If few details have been made public about the talks, “cooperation between Hungary and Russia on heavy industry development projects and technologically intensive sectors will be further tightened,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said as Russia invested 20 million euros in Hungary’s heavy industry in 2016.
Official sources said there is real hope in Budapest that despite the general context of tension between the European Union (EU) and Russia, the international political situation favors the development of Hungarian-Russian relations. As an example of bilateral cooperation, Hungarian and Russian companies have built a consortium with a view to winning a major contract with Egyptian Railways.
Budapest also reiterated its commitment to ending EU’s economic sanctions on Russia since “the Hungarian economy has lost 6.7 billion dollars in export opportunities during the past three years as a result,” Szijjártó explained.