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Russia should rethink relations with active supporters of sanctions — Hungarian envoy

Yevgeny Stanislavov was commenting on the results of an interdepartmental meeting on relations with a number of European countries

BUDAPEST, February 9. /TASS/. Moscow has to reconsider the way it communicates with countries that are actively promoting the policy of anti-Russian sanctions, Russian Ambassador to Hungary Yevgeny Stanislavov told TASS on Wednesday.

He was commenting on the results of an interdepartmental meeting on relations with a number of European countries.

In November, Russia’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov held a meeting in Vienna with Russian ambassadors to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. According to the Foreign Ministry, the participants pointed to "the need to revise the previous modes of interaction with these states, taking into account the freezing of bilateral cooperation they have initiated in almost all areas."

When asked how this would affect Russian-Hungarian cooperation, Stanislavov replied: "I think it’s no big secret that the meeting was about the state of our relations with European countries as a result of unprecedented unfriendly steps taken from their side and our countermeasures that followed in response. A review of the previous modes of communication with the states actively promoting the policy of anti-Russian sanctions is, therefore, inevitable."

"Besides that, these negative processes were overlaid by a quite natural and accelerated recent turn of our foreign policy and foreign economic activity towards the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, where we feel a positive counter movement and a focus on developing cooperation." the ambassador noted.

Opportunities for cooperation

As Stanislavov stressed, these fundamental shifts in the system of Russian foreign policy priorities are reflected in relations with Hungary, but Moscow is ready to implement joint economic projects. However, he said, "if we act pragmatically and proceed from our mutual interests, then there are opportunities for productive cooperation."

"For our part, we are ready to work this way and advance in the implementation of joint economic projects, depending on how ready our Hungarian colleagues are for this," the ambassador assured.

He did not specify which Russian-Hungarian projects now seem to be the most promising, so that they would not become the subject of "heightened attention" of those who put spokes in the wheels of bilateral cooperation.

"A number of such joint initiatives have already been shelved due to the almost universal spread of EU sanctions," the diplomat said.

The ambassador did not rule out that there were losses as a result of the termination of projects due to sanctions.

"As for the losses that the parties suffered as a result of the disruption or freezing of joint projects, here we can only state that they were of a mutual nature, and time will tell who was more affected by this," he said.

Currently, the two countries are mainly cooperating on oil and gas supplies and nuclear energy. Hungary receives Russian oil through the Druzhba pipeline, and gas through the TurkStream and its branches through Bulgaria and Serbia. The Paks nuclear power plant, which generates half of the country's electricity, uses Russian nuclear fuel, and preparations for the construction of two new nuclear power units there as part of the Rosatom project are underway.