A new age of bilateral cooperation between the patriotic governments of Hungary and Slovakia is about to begin following the electoral victory of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday.
On a visit to Bratislava, Szijjártó praised the newly elected Slovak leader whom he claimed “thinks the same way about war, migration, and gender issues” as the Hungarian government.
He expressed his desire for Hungary and Slovakia to work together for a “rational European policy” in pursuit of peace in Ukraine while making “serious efforts to develop bilateral economic relations” between the two countries.
“As a result of the last Slovakian elections, Slovakia became a patriotic government that wants to assert national interests, and we could not have received better news from the perspective of the future of bilateral relations,” he added.
The Hungarian foreign minister, whose remit also covers international trade, met with several ministers in the new Slovak cabinet including Minister of the Economy Denisa Sakova, revealing that he was confident following discussions that “a great period of Slovak-Hungarian cooperation, which will bring many successes and results,” is forthcoming.
“Slovakia is our third most important trade partner. We both use nuclear energy, we pursue energy and economic policies based on common sense, and we believe that one of Europe’s longest borders does not divide us but connects us,” he said.
Fico returned to high office in Slovakia having previously served as prime minister until 2018. He won the election held on Sept. 30 on a campaign that criticized Western support for Ukraine, anti-Russian sanctions, and U.S. foreign policy.
He vowed to halt Slovak arms supplies to Kyiv — a move enacted within his first few days back in office — and holds a view on the conflict more aligned with pro-peace advocates such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Szijjártó recalled the glory years of Hungarian-Slovak cooperation during Fico’s previous tenure, citing agreements on the development of infrastructure including the Ipoly bridges, the Danube bridge, and several other projects increasing connectivity between the two nations.
The Hungarian minister added that the new political alliance in Bratislava and Budapest also stretches to its opposition to the European Union’s proposed migration pact.
“Both governments consider it equally important to nurture and respect the national cultural heritage and fundamental values, and we would like the debates about the future of the European Union to be based on common sense,” he said.
Fico is expected to be received by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for a visit to Budapest in the not-too-distant future.