The European Commission (EC) should secure diversified energy deliveries and allocate funds for infrastructure development to enable increased shipments of Azerbaijani gas to the European Union, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia requested the bloc’s body.
EU member countries have appealed EC to entice Brussels to prioritize the developments needed to guarantee energy supply and security in the region and provide financial support.
According to Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, who spoke on Wednesday at a joint news conference with Azerbaijani Economy Minister Mikail Jabbarov, the energy security of Hungary and Central Europe can be influenced greatly by the increased natural gas production in Azerbaijan, but this would require EU support due to the needed infrastructure development of in the region.
Szijjártó said on Tuesday that in order to provide for increased volumes of Azerbaijani gas flowing via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia, investment is needed to build new facilities and interconnectors and to update existing infrastructure and boost its capacity.
According to the Hungarian official, the projects should provide for Southern and Central Europe’s energy security, so the question now is if the EU is ready to step towards a real diversification from the talk that has been heard so far.
Szijjártó warned it’s now clear that so-called diversification has become a real physical necessity and is no longer enough to talk about it, stressing that Europe’s energy supply will not be secure if it cannot get new energy sources and build new energy transport routes.
Pointing out that it was an important task to create the necessary contractual and physical environment to bring gas from the Southern Gas Corridor to the central part of the continent, the Hungarian Foreign Minister also welcomed Azerbaijan’s ambition to double its pipeline capacity to Europe by 2027.
Back in December, a quadrilateral agreement has been reached – signed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili – that will allow Hungary to import green electricity from Azerbaijan via a new submarine power cable through Georgia and Romania.
Apart from transmitting electricity from Azerbaijan to Europe in Bucharest, the deal enables Romania and Georgia to get connected with an optic cable capable of high-speed internet data transmission.