“Hungary Ready to Help Croatia Buy Back MOL’s Shares in INA”

By 28 November 2017

The Croatian Prime Minister meets with his Hungarian counterpart in Budapest.

Prime Minister Plenković gave a statement on Tuesday morning after a meeting with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Budapest, reports N1 on November 28, 2017.

“It was an opportunity to talk about all the topics of common interest between Croatia and Hungary. We have discussed the issue of the Hungarian minority in Croatia and Croatian minority in Hungary, the transport links between the two countries, the reconstruction of bridges on the Drava River, energy cooperation and the transport corridors. Hungary and Croatia are also important to each other in terms of trade exchange, which has increased, with investments now reaching over two billion euros,” said Plenković.

The controversial issue of relations between the Croatian national oil company INA and the Hungarian oil company MOL, which owns INA together with the Croatian government, was also discussed. Hungary is ready to come to an agreement to sell INA’s shares held by Hungarian MOL, the Croatian Prime Minister said after the meeting which lasted almost an hour and a half. The Croatian government announced in late 2016 it would try to buy back MOL’s shares in INA due to disputes over its management, but nothing much has happened in the meantime. MOL, INA and the Croatian government are involved in several arbitration proceedings which are in different stages of resolution. The issue of the management rights in INA is also a subject of court proceedings against former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, who is charged with receiving bribes.

The two prime ministers also talked about Croatia’s membership in the OECD. Plenković said that Hungary would support Croatia in this process. In September, Croatia’s accession to the Organisation for European Cooperation and Development was blocked by Hungary due to the INA dispute.

“It is important to continue the dialogue with the OECD, which is the only remaining international organisation that Croatia needs to enter,” said Plenković.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković is in Budapest, where he is attending the sixth meeting of the heads of the governments of Central and Eastern Europe and China, the so-called 16+1 Summit. Plenković met on Monday with the Chinese Prime Minister. They discussed cooperation in tourism, the use of Croatian ports for Chinese exports and the infrastructure investments.

Translated from N1.