Hungary's prime minister on Friday defended his country's controversial media law, which has come under international criticism that it seeks to stifle the opposition and press freedom.
Viktor Orban said after meeting with his Slovak counterpart Iveta Radicova that the law meets "current European norms and standards."
The law greatly expands the state's power to monitor and penalize private news outlets. There are concerns it will be used against media critical of Orban's center-right government. Orban said he would have no problem answering questions from the EU about it.
The EU's Executive Commission says the law might not meet all of its standards for a free and fair press. Hungary's six-month presidency of the EU started on Jan. 1.
Radicova and Orban also signed a deal to connect their natural gas networks as part of efforts to secure alternative energy supplies.
A new pipeline is meant to become part of a proposed gas route that would link Poland in the north with Croatia in the south of Europe.
Radicova called the deal "a step to greater independence in energy security for Slovakia."
Slovakia, which almost entirely depends on Russian gas, was among the nations hit hardest by Europe's natural gas cutoff of Russian gas shipments via Ukrainian pipelines in January 2009.