Hungary and Cyprus sign gas agreement

The foreign minister said the latest agreement with the island sets the stage for Cyprus gas to enter the market in south-eastern and central Europe.

Hungary and Cyprus have signed a bilateral natural gas agreement relating to supply from Cyprus’s offshore Aphrodite gas field.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that Hungary regarded the gas from Cyprus as a realistic alternative to other sources with a view to boosting its energy security and diversifying gas supplies.

Speaking at the inauguration of a Hungarian consulate in Nicosia, the minister noted that Hungary is almost totally reliant on Russian gas supplies. Therefore, the latest agreement with Cyprus sets the stage for Cyprus gas to enter the market in south-eastern and central Europe.

The minister said the countries will also look into the uses of advanced Hungarian water management technologies in improving Cyprus’s water supply. He said that with falling rates and the uneven distribution of annual rain, water supply is becoming an increasing problem in Cyprus.

Minister Szijjártó has also pointed out that Cyprus is one of the most popular destinations for Hungarian tourists, with their numbers soaring by 72 percent between January and October 2018 compared with the previous year. Next year, this is expected to be boosted by a flight to be launched between the eastern Hungarian city of Debrecen and Paphos, in western Cyprus.

During his speech, the minister praised Cyprian-Hungarian relations, saying the countries saw eye-to-eye on many issues regarding the future of Europe. “We both strive for a strong Europe comprising strong nation states… proud of their identity, traditions and culture,” he said. They will also support each other in the EU debate to boost border protection and the fight against terrorism in the EU, he concluded.