Hungarian Foreign Minister: NATO enlargement likely to be discussed in Moscow

Negotiations between the foreign ministers of Russia and Hungary, Igor Ivanov and Laszlo Kovacs, to be held on September 6th in Moscow will give "a great opportunity for discussing the urgent issues of the international situation," said ambassador of Hungary to the Russian Federation Erno Keskeny in an interview with RIA Novosti. "It is not ruled out", he said, "that the point at issue will also be problems connected with NATO enlargement" which is not approved by Russia but supported by Hungary.

"I am not authorised to discuss and assess whether a compromise is needed, but I can assert that the period which passed since the latest NATO enlargement confirmed that this process is not aimed against Russia," the Hungarian diplomat noted.

Nine countries of Central and Eastern Europe wish to join the alliance. Hungary, Czechia and Poland became NATO members in 1999.

Touching upon the expected accession of Hungary to the European Union, the ambassador expressed conviction that "it will not damage our bilateral trade and economic relations, and conditions of cooperation will become more favourable." Nevertheless, Keskeny said, Hungary does not reject the possibility of discussing, at the level of experts, those issues which arouse anxiety of the Russian side". Such negotiations of experts, according the ambassador, have already begun.

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