PM Orbán: Hungarian-Croatian relations need mending

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that one economic issue should not sour relations with neighboring Croatia.

"I don't know of any single economic issue whose value would surpass 800 years of Hungarian-Croatian friendship," Orbán said, referring to the controversies surrounding the two countries energy companies, MOL and INA.

In a recently begun trial, Croatia is accusing MOL President-CEO Zsolt Hernádi of bribing then-Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader with EUR 10 million in 2008, when MOL was negotiating with the Croatian state to increase its stake in Croatian oil and gas company INA to 49 percent.

He referred to the issue as a "thorn under the nail" causing discomfort to an otherwise healthy organism. Answering a question, he said he regards the issue a purely corporate matter while the legal proceedings are something "politics does not interfere with".

Orbán also said that he wants the legal issues to remain firmly separate from inter-state relations.

The two leaders also discussed the issue of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal being built in the Croatian port of Krk, about which Orbán said that while Hungary is expanding its nuclear reactor and investing heavily in solar power, natural gas will remain an important energy source in the coming years.


Title image: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (L) meets his Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenković in Zagreb. (MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)

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