Hungary and Slovakia have both signed a declaration of intent to build a north-south gas pipeline in Kosice/Kassa, Slovakia.
Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the new pipeline could reduce the dependence on Russian gas.
Minister Szijjártó signed the pact, along with Slovak Economy Minister Peter Ziga, in the presence of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.
According to MTI, the “Eastring” pipeline is planned to transport an annual 30-40 billion cubic meters of Romanian and Bulgarian gas.
Minister Szijjártó called energy security one of the most critical issues in central Europe today, adding that it depended greatly on infrastructure. He said the feasibility study of the pipeline was being carried out by a Hungarian firm and would be ready by next year.
The minister also expressed hope that all central and southern European countries would eventually commit to the construction of the new gas corridor. He said that in order for central Europe to secure its energy supply it needed more pipelines, better interconnection among countries, the new north-south pipeline and a new gas source.
The minister added that infrastructure development is the primary objective, and revealed Hungary has a capacity to store some 7 billion cubic meters of gas. “It is not a stretch to call Hungarian-Slovak energy cooperation a success story and we aim to increase the possibility for north-south gas supply,” he said.