Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on Thursday, highlighted the role of Turkey in Hungary’s long-term energy supply, noting that the country last year received 4.8 cubic meters of gas via the TurkStream pipeline.
In regards to new energy sources, the foreign minister said the most realistic option was importing from Azerbaijan, noting that a political agreement had been reached on deliveries of around 100 cubic meters of Azeri gas to Hungary this year. Afterwards, annual deliveries could reach 2 billion cubic metres in the framework of a long-term contract, he added. Minister Szijjártó said Hungary’s friendship with the Turkic states was not based on energy supply. “We were already on good terms back when those who are now eager to get their picture taken with [Azeri] President Aliyev arrogantly and condescendingly waved off our relationship with Azerbaijan,” he said. Under a political agreement, the Azeri gas will flow via Turkey, and the companies involved are now in talks on the details, he said. Minister Szijjártó also underscored the need for infrastructure developments in southeast Europe, noting that Hungary was cooperating in the matter with Bulgaria and Romania and would sign the relevant agreement at the end of April. Concerning nuclear energy, he said Europe was on the verge of a “major breakthrough” in the use of nuclear power, given that seven European Union member states were planning to build nuclear power plants. Minister Szijjártó said there was a significant opportunity for cooperation on nuclear energy within the OTS, arguing that Turkey was building a plant with the same technology and contractor as Hungary, while Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan were among the world’s leading uranium producers. Hungary has signed agreements on nuclear training with every OTS member state, he said. This, the minister added, would give them the competitive advantage of being immune to the “irrational volatility” of the international energy markets. Meanwhile, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary had benefitted greatly from becoming an observer in the OTS, adding that it made it easier to guarantee the country’s energy security. Answering a question, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary’s energy cooperation with Russia was unaffected by the country’s inclusion on the Russian government’s list of “unfriendly countries” along with every other EU member state. The long-term gas delivery agreement with Russia is reliable, and Gazprom is a reliable partner, he added. As regards the war in Ukraine, he said Hungary urged an immediate ceasefire and peace talks, adding that talks often led to a situation in which the status quo at the end of the war differed from the outcome of the peace agreement. He also underlined Hungary’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Concerning Hungary’s ratification of Sweden’s NATO accession, Minister Szijjártó said this had to be done by parliament, adding that the government’s position in the matter was clear. “I don’t think it would be helpful for anyone to apply any kind of pressure,” Minister Szijjártó said. “Instead I recommend respect as the form of behaviour to be displayed by everyone.”