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Government of Hungary: Mongolia could help develop cooperation with Russia
Central Asia | analysis | 14:13, 27 January 2016 | 1388

AKIPRESS.COM - "Mongolia could help Europe develop a pragmatic cooperation with Russia," Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó told reporters in Ulaanbaatar following talks with his Mongolian colleagues, 4-traders reports.

With reference to his meeting with Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren, Szijjártó explained that the main topics of discussion were issues of international politics, and the Hungarian standpoint according to which Europe will lose a lot in the long term if it is unable to develop a pragmatic cooperation with Europe is well known.

"This I something in which Mongolia can provide major assistance," he said.

It is clearly in Europe's interests to establish cooperation between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union, Szijjártó continued, pointing out that if this does not happen then both the EU and Russia will be left significantly behind in world competition.

The Foreign Minister reminded the press that the United States is becoming increasingly active in organizing regional and inter-regional cooperation and China is visibly also developing a system of economic cooperation in which it clearly occupies the leading role. Furthermore, the Arab nations also view regional cooperation as increasingly important, he added.

In this global competition Europe and Russia – primarily because they are too busy with the conflict that currently exists between them – have fallen behind, and if this continues then it will result in significant long-term damage, Szijjártó said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that in his opinion it would be in the EU's interests to develop close cooperation with Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union. The earlier concept that set out as its goal the establishment of a free trade zone spanning the continent from Lisbon to Vladivostok has never been as important as it is now, he said. The United States, China and the Arab nations have become very active within the global economy, and for this reason Europe and Russia "must close ranks" and cooperate.

This is not at all easy in view of current circumstances in world politics, namely the situation in Ukraine, he added.

Mongolia has concluded a partnership agreement with the EU and is also in negotiations with the Eurasian Economic Union, in addition to which Mongolia will be the host of July's Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Szijjártó pointed out.

Accordingly, he has requested from his Mongolian colleague that the country act as a kind of mediator between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union, because it is also in Mongolia's interests that the two integrated blocks develop close cooperation.

"We must attempt to achieve a breakthrough in European-Russian relations at the ASEM summit," he explained.

Szijjártó recalled that EU sanctions against Russia are currently in force until 31 July and "it must finally be realized that these sanctions are not leading us any closer to a solution of the crisis in Ukraine, but are however causing significant damage not only to Russia, but also to European economies. Full compliance with the Minsk agreements is important, but we must recognize that the sanctions are of no help in this," the Hungarian Foreign Minister declared.

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