Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Hungary needs new supply routes

Supply routes have been blocked or destroyed owing to the war in Ukraine, so Hungary needs new ones, and the Turkic states can form a bridge between East and West, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, told newswire Bloomberg in Istanbul.

Hungary has signed a new gas contract with Turkey, buying 275 million cubic meters of gas from the start of next year, Szijjarto said in the video posted on his Facebook page on Sunday, adding that for the first time Hungary would be purchasing gas from Turkiye itself.

Also a Turkish construction giant is forming strategic cooperation with Hungary’s biggest railway construction company, and they will bid in tenders jointly in third markets in Europe.

Turkish Airlines is a key player in Hungary’s civil aviation market, and the airline would focus even more on Hungary in the future, he said.

Asked about the European Union’s view of Hungary’s steps in relation to Turkic states and Turkiye in particular, Szijjarto branded the EU as “hypocritical”.

Governments that abjure the international liberal mainstream are attacked in an unjust and baseless way, he added.

The minister said that just like in Hungary’s case, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was often accused of being undemocratic, but in both countries the governments enjoyed a huge democratic mandate that “any European politician would be happy to win”.

It was a big advantage, he added, that Turkiye and Hungary were stable politically. By contrast, in Europe, he said, political systems were “fragile”, with an array of grand coalitions, diverse coalitions and minority governments.

On the subject of visa liberalisation and the modernisation of the customs union, he said Hungary belonged to the minority in the EU insofar as it pressed for faster implementation of both.

Close economic cooperation with Turkiye would be good for the EU, given the “bad economic state” the EU was in and given the necessity for cooperation on migration, he said.

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