Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Government rejects interference into energy supply

Hungary's government continues to reject any interference into issues connected to the country's energy supply, which it considers a matter of national sovereignty, the foreign minister said in Baku on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Baku Energy Forum, Peter Szijjarto said recent crises had led to a tendency to create blocks in world economy. That would put safe energy supplies at risk, he said, lamenting that the issue had become a battleground of political conflits and ideological debates. Meanwhile, supplying energy is a “physical and mathematical problem rather than a philosophical one”, he said.

Szijjarto said ensuring a safe and sustainable energy supply hinged on eliminating the “discrimination” against nuclear energy.

The world’s electricity demand is set to double by 2030 in the wake of the green transition of industry and transport, and the only cheap and sustainable way to supply for that demand will be through nuclear reactors, he said.

Another task in terms of a safe supply is to “resist the extremely aggressive pressure” in the European Union aiming to phase out natural gas from the national energy mix, he said.

That “artificially created, unrealistic, ideological” aim would severely harm countries’ competitiveness, he said, calling for an alternate course of upgrading energy infrastructure to enable diversification.

Hungary had been “working hard” to diversify its energy supply, he said, “meaning the involvement of more resources, not replacing already existing ones.”

He slammed the EU’s decision to withhold support from network expansion in south-eastern Europe, on the grounds that natural gas would be phased out of the energy mix in 15 years. “Even if that were true, we still have 14 years.”

The third step to secure energy supplies, Szijjarto said, was to eliminate all steps curbing “free, fair and uninterrupted international energy cooperation.”

The EU sanctions imposed on Russia after the start of the Ukraine war had led to skyrocketing energy prices. Hungary was obliged to pay 10 billion euros more than expected for its energy imports, he said. Therefore, Hungary rejects all sanctions on energy and sees attempts to impose tariffs on energy resources “unacceptable and outrageous”, Szijjarto said.

Hungary’s government doesn’t choose its energy suppliers on a political basis, Szijjarto said. “This is not a political declaration but a matter of national sovereignty and rationality.”

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