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Hungary Eyes Azeri Gas As Intergovernmental Commission Holds Meeting In Budapest

Tamás Székely 2015.04.23.

Azeri natural gas is certain to arrive in Europe, but other solutions for the diversification of European gas supplies are, for the time being, pipedreams for the long term, Hungary’s Foreign Minister said at the end of a two-day meeting of the Hungarian-Azeri economic mixed committee. Gas will arrive from the Shah Deniz gas field through the Trans Adriatic and Trans-Anatolian gas pipelines, so Azerbaijan is a partner of outstanding importance from the point of energy security, Péter Szijjártó said. In order to secure energy supplies for Europe, the diversification of resources is needed, he said at a joint press conference with Azeri Economic Minister Shahin Mustafayev. According to Mustafayev, Azeri gas will be in European markets within a year.

Péter Szijjártó noted that Magyar Eximbank had opened a 145 million dollar credit line to Hungarian SMEs for financing exports to Azerbaijan. The state-owned Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM) has started talks on participating in the development of the Azeri transmission system, and Hungarian oil and gas company MOL is negotiating with Azeri peer Socar on cooperation in production, he said. Mustafayev said a direct flight between Hungary and Azerbaijan would do much to cement ties between the countries. He said Hungarian companies could participate in Azeri infrastructure projects, and that cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector could be expanded.

Shahin Mustafayev was also received in Budapest by Hungarian Economy Minister Mihály Varga. The two ministers discussed, among others issues, industrial and healthcare cooperation, the bolstering of tourism relations, the exchange of information on employment policy and SME development. Last year, the volume of Hungarian exports to Azerbaijan was up by some 8 percent, totalling more than USD 72 million and half of that amount was constituted by Hungarian pharmaceuticals products, Mihály Varga said after the talks. In addition to the high-profile economic diplomacy and trade development relations, the efforts of the Hungarian Trade House, opened in 2012, have also played a major role in driving the bilateral trade of goods, he added.

via and photo: Márton Kovács – / MTI