Speaking in Baku on Thursday, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the issue of energy security requires a pragmatic approach and “common sense” instead of philosophical and ideological debates. Minister Szijjártó told the 27th Baku Energy Forum that energy security is the most critical issue on the international political stage today, but the topic is now “absolutely over-politicised” and being turned into an ideological question. The security of energy supply should be “a matter of physics and mathematics” that concerns resources, supply routes and the calculation of energy needs, Minister Szijjártó said. The minister said countries’ access to energy sources was determined by historical and geographical aspects. Changes to a country’s energy mix require investments in infrastructure, he added.
The foreign minister said that Europe was focused solely on how it can “get rid of Russian sources of energy”, but there was “no practical dialogue on how to replace it”. He said the Hungarian government would not agree to any sanctions on Russian natural gas imports, as some 85 percent of the gas consumed in Hungary comes from Russia. Hungary is committed to diversifying its energy sources, for instance by buying gas sourced from a field in the Caspian Sea, the minister said, adding, however, that this required an increase in production and expanding the capacity of the Trans-Anatolian pipeline. Hungary will be able to rely on gas delivered from Azerbaijan in the future, but this will only be realistic once supply routes between the Caspian region and Europe are expanded, Minister Szijjártó said. Hungary will not give up its existing energy supply system if that means higher energy prices, he said, adding that energy prices had a significant impact on people’s living conditions and economic competitiveness.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter