Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Turkey is a reliable and predictable transit partner without whom Hungary's secure energy supply would not be guaranteed.
Responding to a question at a news conference in Ankara on Wednesday, following the inauguration of an incubator plant built by Hungary’s Medicor, Minister Szijjártó expressed Hungary’s gratitude for Turkey's role in guaranteeing the country’s energy security. “There can be no secure energy supply in Hungary without the transit route in Turkey,” he said, pointing out that the TurkStream gas pipeline was the only east-west pipeline in Europe that was operating reliably. He said the Hungarian government would continue to count on Turkey’s role as a gas transit country, noting a developing agreement on the purchase of gas from Azerbaijan which would require the same transit route. Talks are also ongoing with Turkish energy company BOTAŞ on the purchase of Turkish gas, he added. Meanwhile, Minister Szijjártó highlighted the importance of nuclear energy when it comes to energy cooperation, given that Hungary and Turkey are building nuclear plants that use the same technology. The reactor blocks being built in Turkey are expected to be the ones to go online sooner, and will provide useful information to Hungary, he said.
The foreign minister also attended the inauguration of an incubator plant built by Hungary’s Medicor. The foreign ministry quoted Minister Szijjártó as saying that the Hungarian government had provided a grant of 480 million forints (EUR 128m ) to the 800 million forint project, adding that the facility would start production in the second half of the year. Szijjártó said Medicor would also move research and development activities to Ankara, in preparation for “pioneering efforts by Hungarian and Turkish engineers to make services for premature babies more effective”. The minister noted the Hungarian government’s support for Hungarian companies making investments in other countries, and said “new export markets will generate more income … and the Hungarian economy will become stronger”. Minister Szijjártó highlighted the strategic political and economic cooperation between Hungary and Turkey, adding it was a “success story with both partners benefitting”. Since the beginning of the year, the turnover of bilateral trade has increased by 19%, and “Turkish exports to Hungary have broken a record”. On another subject, Szijjártó expressed the government’s support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s party in Turkey’s upcoming election.