Hungary's foreign minister has said that the completion of a new pipeline transporting natural gas to Hungary should be ready by the end of 2019.
Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, made the announcement after signing an agreement to build the pipeline with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller in Moscow.
Hungary’s “most realistic chance to join the southern gas transport route” is to cooperate with Gazprom, he said. The company has already started constructing the Turkish Stream pipeline, he pointed out.
“It is a matter of national security that Hungary should have access to the southern gas corridor as well as a great economic opportunity," Minister Szijjártó said. “Western hypocrisy notwithstanding, demand for Russian gas is increasing in the EU." he added.
The foreign minister said that Gazprom sold a record quantity of gas to Europe this winter. He added that the new route would help to exploit Hungarian gas storage facilities and thus generate substantial revenue.
Bulgaria and Serbia have already signed the agreements necessary to start planning a pipeline that can transport up to 8 billion cubic meters of gas to Hungary through those countries by late 2019, the minister concluded.