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Russian president, Hungarian premier to discuss trade and economic ties

February 17, 2016, 5:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Kremlin expects the visit will help the countries reach progress in the implementation of the agreements they reached a year ago

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MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin meets on Wednesday with visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to discuss trade and economic partnership, joint projects in the energy and high tech sectors as well as cultural cooperation.

Their previous meeting was exactly a year ago in Budapest. Kremlin expects the visit will help the countries reach progress in the implementation of the agreements they reached a year ago. The sides are also expected to exchange opinions on topical international issues.

Meeting in Budapest

Last year, the two leaders discussed gas cooperation against the background of Russia’s dropping the South Stream gas pipeline plan. They also discussed the project to build two new units at Hungary’s nuclear power plant Paks, cooperation in the agricultural and healthcare sectors as well as European sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine.

The sides signed a package of five documents - agreements on regional cooperation, cooperation in the sphere of high education and healthcare, a document to open the Hungarian Consulate General in the capital of Russia’s republic of Tatarstan, Kazan, as well as an agreement on training personnel for the atomic energy industry.

Bilateral cooperation

According to Hungarian statistical data, in January-October 2015 trade between Russia and Hungary shrank by almost 50%, to $4.5 billion. Russian exports declined by more than a half, while imports by 41%. Data of the Russian Federal Customs Service is approximately the same.

The bulk of Russia’s exports to Hungary is primary energy sources (more than 80%), and the share of manufacturing sector products is about 10%.

Hungarian companies are doing business in different sectors of the Russian economy, notably in the banking sector (OTP Bank), in pharmaceutics (Gedeon Richter) as well as in construction, food industry, agriculture and other sectors.

Russian investment in Hungary’s economy is concentrated mainly in the energy sector, banking sector and metallurgy. One of Russia’s main investment projects in Hungary is the construction of new units for the Paks Nuclear Power Plant that produces more than 40% of country’s electricity. The project is managed by Russia’s Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation.

To implement the project, Russia has granted Hungary a loan of up to $10 billion.

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