President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Henn Põlluaas met with Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary László Kövér in Budapest today. The Speakers found that Estonia and Hungary could deepen their cooperation at the level of parliamentary friendship groups and committees.
Põlluaas pointed out that Estonia and Hungary were united by related languages and close cultural cooperation, and the two countries had always had excellent relations. He added that it was now possible to tighten them even further. “So far, Estonia has looked more towards Western Europe, but it is time to turn our attention also to Central Europe, and to Visegrád countries,” Põlluaas said. Cooperation possibilities in security issues as well as in economy and culture were discussed with the Hungarian colleague.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Enn Eesmaa agreed that the future cooperation between the two countries could be more coordinated at parliamentary level. He emphasised that both Estonia and Hungary should be more active in the Eastern Partnership programme. The countries we are thinking and speaking about – Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine – certainly wish that,” Eesmaa said.
Member of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Madis Milling welcomed Hungary’s decision to increase defence spending to 2 per cent of GDP by 2024. Hungary is also vigorously replacing the Soviet equipment and weapons that have remained in the country from the times of the Warsaw Pact with newer and more modern technology and weapons that completely conform to NATO standards,” Milling added.
This week, President of the Riigikogu is on a visit to Budapest at the invitation of the Speaker of the Parliament of Hungary. The purpose of the visit is to promote bilateral relations and learn about the latest developments in Hungary. Tomorrow, the Estonian delegation will visit the Estonian Institute in Hungary that promotes cooperation in culture and education, and meet with President of Hungary János Áder.