Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Hungary on February 17, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó has announced. Szijjártó said Hungary urges the mediated end of the fighting in Ukraine without delay, based on the Minsk agreement on resolving the crisis, adding that Hungary’s interest is to have a strong and stable neighbour. There will be plenty to discuss, given the European Union’s sanctions against Russia and the retaliatory embargo by Moscow that have resulted in a significant drop in economic and political cooperation between the two, Szijjártó said, noting that Hungarian exports to Russia had fallen by more than 13% recently. Energy security would be on the agenda, having become all the more timely given the cancellation of the South Stream project. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow that perspectives in relations between Russia and Hungary are “extremely good”. There have been difficult periods but both countries “strive to understand each other and are aware that bilateral ties have very good perspectives with mutual benefits”, he said. Russia was ready to further develop its ties with Hungary in different areas, energy being just one of them.