The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Peter Szijjarto, traveled to Russia for the second time in six weeks, showing the proximity to Moscow of the Government of Viktor Orbán, which opposes new sanctions on Russia.
Szijjarto took part in a nuclear technology forum in Sochi, on the Black Sea, with a view to advancing the construction of two new reactors at the Paks nuclear power plant, the only one that Hungary has.
The Russian giant Rosatom will be responsible for the expansion of these facilities, following an agreement signed in 2014.
“I sincerely hope that no European country impedes this investment,” said Szijjarto, who insisted that energy “is a matter of national security, even of sovereignty,” according to statements released by his department.
EU sanctions on Russia
The Hungarian minister had already warned that he would prevent the approval of EU sanctions on Russia related to nuclear energy, because they would affect the expansion of its only atomic power plant, which is under way with the help of Moscow.
“The expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant corresponds to our strategic and national security interests. So far, we have managed to prevent Brussels from imposing sanctions on our nuclear development and we will also do so in the future”, guaranteed Péter Szijjártó, in a statement on 10 November.
The head of Hungarian diplomacy traveled to Moscow in October to also participate in an event on energy policy and was the only Minister of Foreign Affairs of the European Union (EU) to meet, in September, with the head of Russian diplomacy, Serguei Lavrov, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
The EU has approved several packages of sanctions against Russia since the invasion of Ukraine by troops from Moscow began on February 24, some in the energy sector, but Hungary has managed to stay exempt from the application of some of these sanctions, as in the case of oil, as it is highly dependent on Russian energy imports.