By: V4 Agency
Pragmatic Hungary-Russia cooperation helped Hungary contain the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic and it will again help Hungary in its efforts to relaunch the economy, Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday at INNOPROM Industrial Exhibition in Yekaterinburg.
The economic response of Hungarians to the pandemic was not the standard one, so we’ve been the first to reopen. Our aim now is to be the first [in the EU] to relaunch our economy,” the Hungarian minister said in his speech at the Russian-Hungarian economic forum organised in the framework of INNOPROM Industrial Exhibition.
Bilateral trade, he added, grew by 51 per cent in the first four months and Eximbank has opened a 615 million US dollar credit line to fund business cooperation.
He noted that Wizz Air will soon launch a flight to Yekaterinburg and set up a base in St. Petersburg. To restart passenger transport on the River Danube in Hungary, modern Valdai type hydrofoils will be put into operation, he said, while a 30 million euro purchase of Hungarian refrigeration equipment will be used to upgrade a power plant in St. Petersburg. Hungarofood’s 20 million euro meat processing plant is scheduled to start production in November in Kolomna, Moscow Oblast, whereas another Hungarian company, Polus will modernise heat supply networks for 46 million euros in cities in Sverdlovsk Oblast. The Hungarian digital pathology company 3DHISTECH has extended its contract with the Sverdlovsk region oncology centre for the supply of diagnostic tools, he said. He highlighted that the establishment of a Hungaro-Russian state-owned rail transport joint venture company is under way, and the busiest transport routes from China to Europe will pass through Hungary. A key facility to this endeavour will be a new transshipment and logistics centre in Zahony, near Hungary-Ukraine border.
He explained that the details of the strategic cooperation are being negotiated for the national vaccine factory in Debrecen, which will be operational at the end of next year, where Sputnik V and other jabs will be produced under license. He said Russian vaccine is already being employed in nearly 70 countries, and the demand is set to grow in the future.
According to Peter Szijjarto, these two projects will significantly affect the future performance of the Hungarian economy. He cited inoculation with the Russian jab as an example of a mutually beneficial cooperation: Hungarians could be inoculated quickly because vaccines weren’t turned into an ideological issue. Hungary was the first EU member to be supplied doses of Sputnik V and the order was delivered by the Russian partner on time and according to the purchase agreement.
On Tuesday morning, Peter Szijjarto presented the Hungarian Cross of Merit with a star to the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the success of the Hungarian anti-Covid-19 vaccination campaign.
“Hungary received two million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, 99 per cent of which was utilised, enabling the immunisation of nearly one million people. Without this vaccine, we would not have been able to carry out the fastest vaccination campaign in the EU, leading to the protection of 65 percent of the adult population,” Minister Szijjarto said praising the deal.
An agreement had been reached on the purchase of the vaccine after intensive consultation with Manturov at a time when there was still a number of uncertainties surrounding production capacities, Hungary’s FM pointed out. At the ceremony, the two ministers deemed the exporting of the Hungarian-Russian jointly produced railway carriages to Egypt a joint success.
Mr Manturov thanked FM Szijjarto for his help in procuring Western European parts for Russian ventilators.
Peter Szijjarto signed an economic cooperation agreement with Natalya Komarova, the governor of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area, and met with Yevgeny Kuivashev, the governor of Sverdlovsk Oblast. The minister also took part in the ceremonial opening of the stands of the Hungarian companies: Phoenix Conrtroll Kft., Veres Kft., NCT Hungary Kft., Simicron Kft. and Stigron Kft.