Peter Szijjarto in Bucharest: Hungary Stays Committed to Russian Gas

Hungarian FM Urges EU Funding for Southeastern Europe Gas Pipes.

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The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter Szijjarto, stated at a specialized conference in Bucharest that “the pressure on Hungary to give up Russian gas simply means blowing up the gas supply because due to infrastructure, it cannot avoid using it.” He also added that Hungary rejects any approach that transforms energy supply into an ideological or political issue.

While attending the Romanian International Gas Conference in Bucharest, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijarto stated that his country aims to diversify its energy sources. However, this goal requires the European Union and several member states to no longer oppose the expansion of the natural gas transportation system in Southeastern Europe.

In Hungary, we are under continuous pressure to diversify our energy supply, but this does not just mean replacing one reliable source with another. It means having access to all possible sources… In Hungary, we view the issue of energy supply as a physical reality. We reject any approach that tries to formulate the issue of energy supply in a political or ideological context. In Hungary, we believe that the answer to the question ‘Where do we buy gas from?’ is determined 100% by infrastructure. As long as you can’t transport gas in a backpack, the pipeline network will decide where you buy gas,” the Hungarian Minister said.

The biggest obstacle to diversifying our supply for Hungary is Brussels and a few member states. If we want to bring larger volumes from other sources, we need to look to the east, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Qatar. But the problem is the limited transport capacity in Southeastern Europe,” he added.

“We, as a country, depend on others, we depend on the countries that are gas suppliers and the countries where gas transits. So, the solution is to interconnect with everyone else. We have interconnectors with six out of the seven neighboring countries. Regarding Romania, we’ve just increased the capacity to 2.5 billion cubic meters, reciprocally, which means that gas transit from Romania can contribute to our energy security by approximately a quarter annually. I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you something: due to infrastructure, we cannot avoid using Russian gas at the moment. If we give up Russian gas, if we give up their deliveries, we simply cannot supply the country. Our production does not exceed 1.5 billion. So, we need to import 1.8 billion cubic meters annually. And despite the fact that we have invested a lot in our capacity to import large quantities of gas in case the capacity of neighboring countries is not large enough, it still doesn’t work. With Romania, we have an equivalent capacity for both entry and exit, and that’s excellent. That’s how it should be in all cases. So, the pressure on us to give up Russian gas simply means blowing up our gas supply. That’s the reality. Since we are responsible for safely supplying the country, we need to maintain the relationship,” said Szijjarto.

The Hungarian Minister also noted that Brussels opposes expanding gas pipelines in the region, arguing that natural gas will no longer be used in the future, a view with which he disagrees. “The energy Romania consumes is Romania’s problem, and the energy Hungary consumes is Hungary’s problem,” said Szijarto, adding that the European Commission’s refusal to fund new pipelines in this area affects the interests of both Romania and Hungary.

The Hungarian official further explained that his landlocked country with limited resources is dependent on both the countries selling resources and those involved in transit. He reiterated his dissatisfaction with Bulgaria, which imposed a €10 fee per MWh on Russian gas transiting to Serbia and Hungary, calling for “regional solidarity.”

He also pointed out that among its seven neighbors, Hungary has interconnections with six, and through the pipeline from Romania, Hungary can import 2.6 billion cubic meters of gas annually, covering a quarter of the country’s consumption. The interconnection capacity with the Romanian network is expected to increase to 3.2 billion cubic meters per year in the first phase.

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1 Comment
  1. Panagiotis Spyridis says

    This is good for Greece but the EU policy is debated extremely. We all are paying for Expensive American LNG. Let the Americans also pay for the new corridors ALSO!

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