Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has confirmed that Hungary, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia have signed a memorandum of understanding on natural gas deliveries to central and eastern Europe through the so-called Solidarity Ring.
At the signing ceremony in Sofia, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary, which has little natural gas of its own, is striving to diversify its energy resources “rather than just changing the geographical direction of the dependence”. Natural gas from Azerbaijan is the most realistic option for central and eastern Europe to diversify its supplies, but this will need adequate transport routes, he said. Organising and preparing infrastructure development should be a task of eastern and south-eastern European governments, while the European Union should play a role in financing the investments, he said. Hungary’s network operator is prepared, and the government is willing to undertake further developments to raise the capacity of the Hungarian stretch of the Solidarity Ring, to transport 5 billion cubic meters of gas a year between Romania and Slovakia, he said. President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Rumen Radev of Bulgaria also attended the event, as did energy ministers Parviz Shahbazov of Azerbaijan, Rossen Hristov of Bulgaria and Virgil-Daniel Popescu of Romania, and Slovak economy minister Karel Hirman.