Hungary is trusted, stable and solvent partner, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest. “It is in our interests to cooperate,” Putin said. “We will find a way to implement gas supplies. I’d like to depoliticise issues that are purely economic.” “I’d stress that we do not rule out any direction [of gas supplies],” he said, adding that even Bulgaria may come into play after having yielded to European Commission pressure. “If it reconsiders its stance, then we could renegotiate the issue. But I’d like assurances that Russian companies are not going to make losses due to unconsidered decisions.”
Putin emphasized the importance of dialogue, equally with Brussels and bilaterally. The Russian president said that over the past three years bilateral trade turnover had halved and that investments had also declined. In order to advance investments and trade, the two countries will intensify cooperation in the energy sector, he said, adding that Russia attributed great importance to the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant. The 12 billion euro investment covering the construction of the plant’s two new reactors will “create 10,000 new jobs in Hungary”, he said. The president also noted that Hungarian oil and gas company MOL plans to boost production at its fields in Russia.