Central Europe and the Baltics share identical interests in several areas, which should be utilised in view of the coronavirus pandemic “more than ever before”, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said.
Szijjártó told a press conference held jointly with his Latvian counterpart after talks in Riga that the regions share the same security and energy interests. It is important for Hungary to contribute to defence security in the Baltics, he added. Hungary’s air force will carry out the defence of Baltic airspace between September and December next year, similarly to 2019, Szijjártó said. After next year, Hungarian Gripens and Hungarian pilots will again return to the area in 2025, he added.
“It is also important… to maintain secure energy supplies in the eastern part of the continent,” he said. A Hungarian company will participate in the information technology development of Latvian energy companies, linking the national energy networks of Baltic countries and harmonising their common energy markets, he added.
Szijjártó said it was important that central Europe and the Baltics should have infrastructure links, including a railway link, which he said would be a most important development.
Latvia and Hungary share the same views about major challenges facing the EU, he said. Both countries support EU enlargement and believe that the EU can become stronger if the number of its members increases, he added. It is important that the EU should expand in the direction of the Western Balkans, he said.
Commenting on illegal migration, he said both countries reject the introduction of mandatory settlement quotas in the EU. “Brussels unfortunately continues to pursue pro-migration policies but we reject the mandatory settlement of illegal migrants, we reject quotas and in this matter we cooperate with Latvia,” he said.