In a press conference held on Wednesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungary and Qatar had signed an energy and investment deal, but it would soon be followed by “longer, inter-governmental talks touching upon strategic areas, too”.
PM Orbán said the government aims to reduce Hungary’s dependence on energy imports, adding that nuclear energy involved the least such dependence, which is why the government had decided on upgrading the Paks nuclear plant. The outcome of the project will depend on the government’s efforts to “prevent the entire nuclear energy industry from being included in the (EU’s) sanctions list,” he added. Once the Paks upgrade is complete, Hungary will be able to significantly reduce its gas consumption, PM Orbán said and suggested that attempts at such reductions so far, like reducing the gas consumption in public institutions had been insufficient. He noted the recent agreement with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Romania on building an electric cable, while pipeline connections were being upgraded and the government was also studying opportunities to receive LNG delivered by sea. Concerning Croatia’s increasing the transit fee for using the Adria oil pipeline, PM Orbán said that “Hungary wants to pay a fair price and Croatia wants a fair price, too, therefore talks are necessary”. The European Commission has not yet made a position on the matter, he said.