Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said that a normal business cooperation in the Croatia-MOL case has become politically unsustainable and that there is no other solution but to end it.
Szijjarto made the statement in an interview with Figyelo, a leading Hungarian weekly, on Thursday.
Asked by the interviewer if the two governments could reach any agreement on the matter, Szijjarto said: "The Croatian government should reach an agreement with MOL."
Asked if the Hungarian government would not become involved in the matter at all, he said that it would not.
"We have made it clear that the transaction will be acceptable only if the amount of money returning to Hungary is equal to the total amount of the capital invested by MOL," Szijjarto said among other things.
In an interview with the Hungarian news agency MTI in January, the Hungarian minister said that the Croatian government had to reach an agreement with the Hungarian oil and gas group MOL on the acquisition of its stake in the Croatian oil company INA but that Hungary had to be reimbursed at least for the money invested in INA.
MOL currently holds a 49.08% stake in the Croatian oil company and its value is estimated at about 1.9 billion euros. The Croatian government holds a 44.8% stake in INA.
The Croatian government in January decided to set up a council for negotiations with MOL regarding the possible acquisition of the Hungarian company's interest in INA. The council will give guidelines, undertake activities and propose decisions to be adopted by the government regarding preparations for and the implementation and financing of the possible purchase of MOL's stake in INA.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic told reporters on Wednesday that on the margins of an informal summit of EU leaders in Malta on Friday he would also talk with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, and that the INA-MOL issue was one of the topics to be discussed.