Hungary provides full support to Moldova for the success of its European Union integration efforts, as external partnerships are particularly important for the weakened community in the current situation, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stated on Wednesday in Chișinău.
The minister emphasised during a joint press conference with his Moldovan counterpart, Nicu Popescu, that the geopolitical significance of the Eastern Partnership has become even more valuable in the present circumstances. Therefore, Hungary advocates for the EU’s swift expansion and closer ties with candidate countries. ‘Hungary will continue to provide all possible support to Moldova for the success of its integration efforts,’ he affirmed.
He highlighted that the strong position of OTP Bank and Richter in the Eastern European country’s market, as well as the record-breaking bilateral trade turnover of 200 million euros last year provide a solid foundation for this support. Furthermore, he deemed it important that Hungary annually hosts forty Moldovan students on scholarships. Péter Szijjártó expressed his regret over the temporary suspension of Wizz Air’s operations in Moldova and expressed hope that the Hungarian-owned airline would return as soon as possible, provided that necessary security guarantees are met.
‘As the presence of Wizz Air here ensures direct air connectivity between Budapest and Chisinau, the interests of the Hungarian and Moldovan governments coincide, and we would like to persuade Wizz Air to come back here as soon as possible,’ he stated. ‘For us, it is important that Wizz Air is present in as many places around the world or in Europe as possible because Wizz Air ensures connectivity between our country and the respective partner countries,’ he added. The minister also mentioned that Hungary supports the agreement on reducing roaming charges between the European Union and Moldova, which also strengthens connections.
Finally, he announced that despite the withdrawal, the NATO member states cannot retrieve the funds already paid for financing the Afghan forces’ operations. Therefore, the Hungarian government intends to allocate a portion of these funds, 120 million Hungarian forints, to strengthen security in Moldova.
‘Although we are not neighbouring countries, we are close to each other. Moldova is located at the eastern border of the European Union…[so] we are mutually interested in each other’s security,’ he expressed.
During the day, Péter Szijjártó held meetings in Moldova with Prime Minister Dorin Recean, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicu Popescu, Minister of Economic Development Dumitru Alaiba, and Minister of Culture Sergiu Prodan.