Azerbaijan is key factor in Hungary’s secure energy supply, Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in Baku on Friday.
The country’s importance in this area will increase when it starts supplying gas to southern Europe in the near future, Szijjártó said. Hungary’s aims to connect its gas network to the southern European gas pipeline, he added.
He said a new source of gas would enter the Hungarian market from 2023 should Greece, Bulgaria and Romania carry out pipeline construction work according to the planned schedule. Hungary is hoping to buy 1-2 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan each year, he said.
Hungarian-Azeri ties have been further boosted by economic cooperation and in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, Szijjártó said. Azerbaijan sent 40,000 masks and 2,000 litres of disinfectant to Hungary “at the peak of the pandemic”, he said.
Hungary in turn supports Azerbaijan’s call for an extraordinary session of the United Nations General Assembly to consider global solutions to the pandemic, he said.
Regarding economic ties, Szijjártó said that the Azeri market is important for three Hungarian companies. Budapest-based discount airline Wizz Air is planning to restart its flights to Azerbaijan, he said, and Hungarian energy drink manufacturer Hell holds a 60 percent share of the Azeri market. Hungarian oil and gas company MOL has a 1.5 billion dollar share of an Azeri oil field, the largest in the world, and the pipeline delivering the oil to the West. MOL regards Azerbaijan as key to beefing up its role as a regional player, he said.
featured image: Szijjártó with Azeri counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov; via Mátyás Borsos/MTI/KKM