Belarus and Hungary to co-operate on nuclear energy

18 April 2023

Hungary is interested in using the experience and knowledge of Belarus in the field of nuclear energy, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told reporters following a meeting of the Belarusian-Hungarian intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation in Budapest. He said a memorandum of understanding had been agreed on the development of cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, noting the importance of energy security for Hungary.

“In the future, energy security in Hungary can only be ensured by nuclear energy,” he said. “Hungary will not allow any sanctions in Europe to be imposed on atomic energy. The memorandum that we signed in the field of nuclear cooperation is very important, since nuclear energy is also used in Belarus, it is already 7-8 years ahead of us. And we will take advantage of this experience and knowledge". He was referring to the Paks-II project in Hungary whereby Russia will construct two VVER-1200 units at the existing Paks NPP. Belarus already has two VVER-1200 units. Although Hungary currently operates four units at its Paks NPP, these are smaller VVER-440 units based on older technology.

"Let's not forget that, regardless of the geopolitical situation, nuclear security is important to everyone. Without nuclear energy, it is impossible to achieve global climate goals. Therefore, cooperation in the field of atomic energy between Hungary and Belarus will help us guarantee the energy supply of our country," Szijjártó added.

The head of the Belarus Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Aleinik, said, “We also reached concrete agreements, which were reinforced by a memorandum of understanding on the development of cooperation in the field of nuclear energy…. This mutual interest is based on specific practical developments that both Belarus and Hungary have. And we intend to clearly implement the agreements on cooperation in this area."

Commenting on the agreement, Szijjártó noted on his Facebook page: “It is a fact that the circumstances are difficult, but there is some room for movement and there are areas not affected by sanctions where we can work on economic cooperation, thereby acquiring markets, knowledge and revenue for Hungarian companies.” He listed a number of areas where co-operation with Belarus would be advantageous including agriculture, pharmaceuticals and construction as well as nuclear energy. “Belarus is building the same reactor blocks as Hungary, so here we are particularly interested in exchanging experiences,” he said.

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