Receiving Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Russian-Hungarian gas supply agreement extending to 2036 provides security and long-term stability for Hungary.
He added it is also important that Hungary buys gas at a rate well below the world market price.
Mr Orbán, too, described the agreement as crucial, indicating that he would also like to have talks about increasing the quantity fixed in the document. There is an energy crisis in Europe, hence the particular significance of the long-term agreement, he stressed.
The Hungarian Prime Minister also expressed his gratitude to his host in connection with the supply of vaccines against the coronavirus, and stressed that as many as 900,000 Hungarians had been inoculated with the Russian vaccine.
Despite the hard times, last year has been the most successful year in bilateral cooperation so far, Mr Orbán added, and the two great challenges were the coronavirus pandemic and energy supply.
Mr Orbán recalled that they first met 13 years ago, this is now their 12th meeting which is uncommon. Of the past 13 years “we two have the longest memories regarding relations between the EU and Russia,” he said.
In the context of Ukraine, Mr Orbán stressed that his visit is also “a peace mission”, on the part of the European Union “we are ready to come to a reasonable agreement,” not a single leader of the EU wants a war.
Mr Putin recalled that Moscow has sent its proposals regarding international security to both NATO and the United States.
Regarding the upcoming Hungarian elections, the parties agreed that they would like to cooperate for a long time also beyond the elections.
“I would like to win, I have high hopes of being able to cooperate for many more long years to come,” Mr Orbán stated.
Mr Putin said they have done many things together that serve the benefit of the people, and sincerely hopes that they will be able to continue this work.
They both spoke about cooperation in other fields of the economy, too, in words of praise. Mr Orbán pointed out among others that the cooperation related to the Paks nuclear power station is “making splendid progress,” the Hungarian projects which have also been authorised by the Russian government have been completed. In this field, too, he has further proposals for the development of cooperation, he added.
Mr Putin stressed that in the first 11 months of last year, the volume of bilateral foreign trade had increased by 30 per cent. In addition to nuclear energy, there are important projects under way between the two countries in the area of the machine industry as well, he pointed out.