Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungary and Azerbaijan have raised cooperation to the level of a "priority strategic partnership".
After talks with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in Budapest, the prime minister said the two countries have decided to strengthen cooperation because the international environment “is more dangerous than ever”. Hungary’s need to diversify its energy supplies increases Azerbaijan’s importance, they said, welcoming Azerbaijan’s commitment to improving European energy security. PM Orbán said the war in Ukraine and the EU sanctions had made European energy security vulnerable, “creating a particular state of emergency in Hungary”. That has boosted Azerbaijan’s importance for the bloc, “although it was already a friend of Hungary”. Diversification is the only viable solution, he said. Delivering energy from Azerbaijan seems the most “realistic” option for European energy diversification, he said. Under an agreement, the natural gas delivered from the country to Europe would be doubled by 2027, and another lays the groundwork to deliver electricity too, PM Orbán said. Both routes will run through Hungary, making energy cooperation between Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia a European issue deserving of EU support, he added.