The meeting took place within the framework of Mr Putin’s visit to Hungary to take part in the opening ceremony of the 2017 World Judo Championships.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you for the invitation. This is not football, of course, but it is a good sport.
Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban (retranslated): I am trying to learn. Thank you for accepting the invitation.
Vladimir Putin: I can explain the theory…
Viktor Orban: This is a great honour for us too. This is an important event for the entire sports world and for judo in particular.
Vladimir Putin: It’s a very popular sport, by the way…
Viktor Orban: Yes, I know. Here in Hungary, we have special books giving an overview of the sport and they often quote you speaking about what one can learn through judo and so on.
Vladimir Putin: I was co-author of one such book, a book for children.
I am very pleased that we have the opportunity on the sidelines of this sports event to discuss our bilateral relations. Let me start by saying that despite the various difficulties, the economic dynamic is returning to normal.
Last year, we saw a drop in bilateral trade, not a big one, true, close to 9.5 percent, but over the first half of this year, bilateral trade was up by more than 20 percent and some estimates put the increase at as much as 27 percent.
Our investors continue showing interest in the Hungarian economy, with $1.5 billion in Russian investment. We have major projects underway, including in the energy sector.
As for financing of the Paks [nuclear power plant] project, $12 billion in financing is guaranteed and the work could begin at the site itself at the start of next year.
We have made progress on smaller-scale projects too, with concrete results. I am referring to projects in agriculture, engineering, and the pharmaceuticals sector.
We see our Hungarian friends and partners’ interest in working on the Russian market and we will do everything possible to support them and help them to promote their business interests in Russia.