Bulgaria and Hungary Will Continue to Work Together for Security and Peace in Europe

2024-05-25 20:05:00

Bulgaria will continue to be a predictable and reliable partner for the transmission and supply of energy resources, said President Rumen Radev in his talks with his Hungarian counterpart Tamas Sulyok and with Prime Minister Viktor Orban during his official visit to Budapest

Bulgaria and Hungary continue to work together for security and peace in the European Union. The war in Ukraine remains the most serious risk facing our countries. Therefore it is necessary to make diplomatic efforts to end it. This was the common position of President Rumen Radev and his Hungarian counterpart Tamas Sulyok, who held a one-on-one conversation in Budapest today and led the plenary talks between the Bulgarian and Hungarian delegations. The head of state is on an official visit to Hungary.

In joint statements to the media, Presidents Radev and Sulyok declared against the escalation of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, as well as against the sending of troops from NATO member states to the territory of Ukraine, as well as more weapons. We must not allow the war to grow in spatial scope and intensity, so diplomatic means must be found as soon as possible to end it. More reason and efforts are needed to reach a peaceful solution", said President Radev. During the plenary talks, the Bulgarian head of state indicated that any initiative aimed at establishing peace in Ukraine in accordance with the principles of international law should be supported.

The two presidents highlighted the deep cultural and historical ties between Bulgaria and Hungary and the friendly bilateral relations as an excellent basis for fruitful cooperation and shared similar priorities and values. Hungary is a priority economic partner of Bulgaria and one of the leading investors. The dynamics in the exchange of goods is positive, with its value already exceeding EUR 2.5 billion. Along with traditional areas of cooperation such as trade, banking and tourism, partnerships in high technology and industries with high added value, as well as the defence industry, are emerging as promising.

Cooperation in the field of energy is key in our relations, the two presidents emphasized. There Sulyok pointed out that Bulgaria is of great importance for the transit of natural gas supplies to Hungary, and the role of our country can be strengthened in the future by importing natural gas from Azerbaijan and Turkey. This means a safe transport route, and in the future it is extremely important for us that the transit of natural gas through Bulgaria remains safe and stable, said President Sulyok. Bulgaria will be a reliable supplier of energy resources for Hungary, said Rumen Radev during the joint statements. He emphasized that the energy connectivity that Bulgaria has built with our neighbouring countries, as well as the access to seven liquefied gas terminals from the Mediterranean Sea and to the gas transmission network of both Greece and Turkey contribute to the security of supply and diversification of Hungary and other allies and partners in Central and Eastern Europe. Rumen Radev pointed out that Hungary was the first country that supported Bulgaria's idea of creating the Solidarity initiative Ring to transfer additional quantities of natural gas to Europe from the Southern Gas Corridor, using the existing infrastructure of several European countries.

In connection with the forthcoming presidency of the Council of the EU, which Hungary will take over in the period July-December this year, President Rumen Radev welcomed the priorities that the Hungarian country sets, among which are dealing with demographic challenges, countering illegal migration, the European perspective of the countries from the Western Balkans. Both sides believe that in order for the enlargement process to be sustainable, it must be based on taking into account each country's own merits, as well as on meeting clear criteria and European principles. Rumen Radev expressed concern over the recent statements of some leading politicians who won the elections in the Republic of North Macedonia, which are contrary to the general European consensus reached in July 2022 regarding the start of the country's membership negotiations. During the plenary talks, the Hungarian President Sulyok stated that during the upcoming Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, they will insist on compliance with the commitments made so far by the potential candidate countries on the European path they have undertaken.

Hungary remains committed to the full accession of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen, the Hungarian president said. For his part, Rumen Radev pointed out that migration pressure and dealing with illegal migration is a common risk for the EU, and this requires solidarity and support from other European countries. According to him, effective policies and mechanisms are needed for the protection of our common border, for cooperation with the countries of transit and the countries from which the migrants come.

"The Bulgarian community is the living bridge that connects our countries", Rumen Radev also noted, expressing gratitude to the Hungarian state for the support it provides for the Bulgarian national minority in Hungary, for guaranteeing and preserving its cultural and national identity, traditions and language . He also highlighted the contribution of the Hungarian state to the construction of a Bulgarian cultural and educational centre in Budapest.

During his visit, President Rumen Radev met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The two noted the friendly bilateral relations and cultural-historical ties between Bulgaria and Hungary, with Viktor Orbán highly appreciating the contribution of the Bulgarian community to the development of the country. Bulgarian Minister of Energy Vladimir Malinov and Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjárto took part in the conversation. Cooperation in areas of mutual interest, as well as topics from the European agenda were discussed at the meeting.

Partnership in the field of energy is of key importance in bilateral relations, President Radev said during the meeting. He added that thanks to the diversification policy, Bulgaria has secured access to reserved liquefied gas capacity in Greece and Turkey, which creates opportunities for our country to cooperate with other countries, including Hungary. With joint efforts, Bulgaria and Hungary can collaborate to guarantee energy security in Central and Eastern Europe, President Radev also stated.

Rumen Radev and Viktor Orbán discussed the security risks and the negative consequences for Europe in social and economic terms of the war between Russia and Ukraine. The two stressed the need for effective diplomatic efforts to cease hostilities and seek a peaceful solution based on international law.

During the meeting, the upcoming Hungarian presidency of the Council of the EU in the period July-December 2024 was also discussed. Rumen Radev and Viktor Orbán also confirmed the support of Bulgaria and Hungary for the European perspective of the Western Balkans as a long-term factor for the security and prosperity of Europe. Rumen Radev pointed out that in order to be sustainable, EU enlargement should be based on clear principles and criteria, the main aspect of which is good neighbourliness and respect for basic human rights.




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