The strategic partnership and friendship between Hungary and Serbia greatly helps Hungary better handle the unprecedented challenges it faces, the foreign minister said on Saturday. Szijjártó said on Facebook after talks between the prime ministers of Hungary and Serbia in Belgrade that the majority of central European countries were facing challenges in three areas: the economy, security and energy supplies. The strategic alliance that Hungary maintains with Serbia helps handle challenges in all three areas, he added. The most important challenge concerns energy supplies, with the two countries “holding on to each other more strongly than ever before” in order to guarantee long-term energy supplies, he said. In line with a long-term agreement with Gazprom, natural gas supplies for Hungary arrive through Serbia and Hungary stores several million cubic metres of gas for Serbia, he added.
An agreement has been signed under which this year Hungary will again keep gas in Hungarian storage capacities for Serbia, he said. Preparations are underway to double the capacity of the electricity interconnector between the two countries and to make electricity transport easier, faster and simpler, he added. He also said that the pressure posed by migration was increasing and its root cause has not yet been handled. But the fact that Hungary can cooperate with the Western Balkan countries in handling the situation is greatly helpful, he added. Cooperation with Serbia is excellent, with thirty Hungarian police serving at Serbia’s southern border and the line of defence on the Hungarian border can be pushed further south, he said. Szijjartó also said that Hungary had a record volume of trade with Serbia last year. Never before had trade totalled 6 billion euros, which bears great significance, he added.