Minister of Foreign affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó said the Eastern Partnership was essential to the European Union in the post-pandemic world. Szijjártó said that nothing would stay the same in the post-pandemic world, and this applied equally to politics and economics.
In a video posted on Facebook after a videoconference of EU foreign ministers and their counterparts representing the six partnership countries on Thursday, the minister said the EU would have to withstand increased competition, and its success in this regard would be in Hungary’s interest.
But to achieve this, the EU needs third countries as partners as allies, and so far, the EU has only paid lip service to the importance of the Eastern Partnership, Szijjártó said. Today, however, four concrete proposals were made, he said.
Further, a comprehensive partnership agreement with Azerbaijan should be signed. Azerbaijan, whose volume of natural gas production is continuously rising, will play an essential role in energy supplies. Also, sanctions against Belarus should be lifted.
Szijjártó also noted continued bilateral talks with Ukraine on restoring rights to Transcarpathian Hungarians and preserving Berehove (Beregszász) as the center of the Berehove administrative district where Hungarians form a majority. Meanwhile, he noted that Hungary had provided support to six Eastern Partnership countries for 160 development projects worth 25 million dollars over the past two years. It has offered them 460 annual scholarships.
The Visegrád Group also regards the Eastern Partnership as important, reflected by its provision aid worth 12 million euros, Szijjártó said.