NEW YORK, January 20. /TASS/. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban plans to make a visit to Russia on February 1, the country’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in an interview with TASS.
"February 1, this is the date of the meeting," he said in response to a question.
According to Szijjarto, the Paks 2 nuclear power plant project will be one of the main topics on the agenda. "We will discuss the forward progress of the preparation of the construction of the nuclear power plant. Rosatom is already preparing the ground for the real and visible and spectacular construction. We want the project to enter into the establishment phase already in the first half of this year," the Hungarian foreign minister pointed out. "We would like to see the two new reactors operational by the end of this decade. Because with these two new reactors and having the current four reactors in place and with the solar investments which are in progress also Hungary will be self-supplier when it comes to electricity," he added.
Szijjarto emphasized that Budapest would also like "to negotiate about the extension of our gas supply contract to increase the volume because it will be favorable for us to increase volume now, based on the energy crisis." "It will be very favorable for us to increase the volume within the long term contract," the top diplomat noted.
According to him, the production of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Hungary will be another question that Orban will raise during his visit. "We are now constructing our national vaccine factory, which is going to be operational by autumn this year. And we want this factory to be involved in the production of Sputnik. And we have already started negotiations there," Szijjarto said. "We would like to complete the negotiations as soon as possible. And by autumn we would like to be a manufacturing place for Sputnik because we see that there's a big market for the vaccines in the future. Sputnik has performed very well in Hungary. Almost one million people have been vaccinated by Sputnik and we have very good experience with it," the Hungarian foreign minister noted.
He added that Hungary also planned to "discuss the common space research project." "We Hungarians would like to send a national research astronaut to the International Space Station by the middle of this decade to operate in the framework of cooperation with Russia," Szijjarto stressed.
The Hungarian top diplomat said in late 2021 that Orban intended to hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in early February. Orban announced plans to meet with Putin at a press conference on December 21, adding that his visit to Russia was possible. The Russian president and the Hungarian prime minister last met in Budapest in 2019.