A pentalateral ministerial meeting initiated by the Hungarian Foreign Ministry was held in Budapest, on the issue of the future energy supply of the Central and South-East European region. The Foreign Affairs Ministers of Serbia, Greece and Macedonia and the Minister for EU Affairs of Turkey were welcomed by Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán on Tuesday morning in the Parliament. After the ministerial talks the sides have signed a joint declaration on strengthening the energy cooperation in the region. The representatives of the participating states – Volkan Bozkır, Ivica Dačić, Nikos Kotzias, Nikola Poposki and Péter Szijjártó – have agreed that cooperation in ensuring energy supply security contributes to the good neighbourly relations between their countries and to the welfare of the citizens.
“Taking into consideration the role of European funds to develop infrastructure projects in Central and South Eastern Europe in reaching a Western European level of diversification, which would in turn make a significant contribution to the overall energy security of Europe and must therefore be a common responsibility of the European Union”, the declaration claims. The sides have declared their political intention to increase the interconnections between the natural gas systems of their countries. The five ministers also expressed their support “to create a commercially viable option of route and source diversification for delivering natural gas from the Republic of Turkey through the territories of their countries to the countries of Central and South Eastern Europe as well as other countries.”
Furthermore, the representatives of the participating states have agreed (1) to support the energy markets of Turkey, the European Union and the Contracting Parties of the Energy Community through the Southern Gas Corridor; (2) to work on new possibilities for creating regional economic development via interconnecting the natural gas infrastructures of our countries with European Union financial assistance; (3) to welcome in cooperative spirit other willing countries of the region to participate in these efforts; and (4) to complement the operation of gas storage facilities with the aim of facilitating trading, providing seasonal balancing and increasing the security of supply in case of disruption of gas supplies.
via kormany.hu and MTI photo: Lajos Soós – MTI