FM Melescanu contradicts Hungarian counterpart Szijjarto on gas exports

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Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu contradicts Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto about the statements regarding gas exports to the neighbouring country amounting to 4.4 billion cubic metres through the BRHA pipeline.

“According to European regulations one cannot talks about exclusive gas resources and infrastructures to a certain destination or a certain country,” the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) informs in a press release.

Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu had talks on Monday with Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto, focusing on the energy security in the region and on the bilateral relations.

Hungarian FM Peter Szijjarto told MTI press agency that, as of 2022, huge volumes of gas from the Black Sea will be supplied to Hungary. Szijjarto said the Hungarian companies have reserved the entire capacity of 4.4 billion cubic metres per year of the pipeline which will connect Romania to Hungary, an opportunity to buy gas elsewhere from Russia. The Hungarian official, according to MTI, added that it has been agreed to build compensation units to allow the supply of 1.75 billion cubic metres of gas per year, as of 2020 and the capacity will be increased to 4.4 billion cubic metres in 2022.

MAE underlines that during the visit paid by the Hungarian Foreign Minister, “no agreement or other bilateral document has been signed, regarding the gas export from Romania to Hungary or about other new projects in the energy field. During the talks issues known to the public were reviewed and the state of the running projects, with no new elements, among them the bidirectional interconnection flows of the gas infrastructure, according to the Development Plan of the National Gas Transmission System of Transgaz. The plan states that the interconnection will be made accordingly with the BRHA development, funded partially by European funds. The development, by steps, of the interconnection and of the BRHA infrastructure are homologated projects according to the initial formats at EU level and included on the list of joint interest projects with European funding through the CEF programme. The development of the projects according to the schedule is a condition for funding, and the non-compliance with the project leads to losing the funds.”

Hungarian FM, Peter Szijjarto, paid a controversial visit to Bucharest on Monday. He had talks with FM Melescanu, then with PSD leader and Chamber of Deputies Speaker, Liviu Dragnea and with Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu.

Sources say that part of the understanding between the ruling coalition leader, Liviu Dragnea, and the Hungarian officials was to reopen the high school in Targu Mures with teaching in Hungarian. Thus, on Wednesday, the Senate, as the decision-making body, adopted the legislative proposal for the establishment of the Romano-Catholic Theological High School in Targu Mures as a pre-university education unit with teaching in Hungarian, a draft formerly adopted by the Chamber of Deputies. The activity of the “Bolyai Farkas” High School was suspended last year, which stirred a diplomatic row between Budapest and Bucharest.

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