Russian President holds talks with Hungarian Prime Minister

On Saturday, RF President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy in St. Petersburg.

According to experts in Moscow and Budapest, ever since the "social-liberal" government headed by Mr. Medgyessy had come to power in Hungary, the Russian-Hungarian relations assumed new character. During the rule of the Hungarian Cabinet headed by Viktor Orban, the contacts between Russian and Hungarian leaders had dwindled to a minimum. In contrast, the Saturday meeting between Vladimir Putin and Peter Medgyessy is their third this year.

During the latest meeting with the Hungarian Premier in December 2002, Mr. Putin mentioned an alarming tendency toward diminishing trade turnover between the two countries.

The mutual trade and economic cooperation was also discussed during the visit of RF Premier Mikhail Kasyanov to Hungary in September 2003. At the conclusion of the talks, Mr. Kasyanov stated that Russian atomic energy enterprises have good chances to participate in future modernization of nuclear power stations in Hungary.

According to Mr. Kasyanov, Russian companies will most probably participate in reconstruction of old and building of new subway lines in Budapest.

The imbalance in the Russian exports to Hungary, "skewed toward raw materials," and the growing trade balance deficit for Hungary remain the major problems of Russian-Hungarian economic relations.

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