Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Bulgaria repealing law hostile to Hungary’s energy security

Bulgaria is repealing a law on hiking the transit fee for Russian gas which has put a question mark over Hungary's energy security, Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Tuesday, adding that "previous cooperation based on mutual respect" may resume once the law has been fully annulled.

The Bulgarian law imperiled the gas supply of North Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary, and Russia’s Gazprom, the supplier, contested its legality, Szijjarto said in a ministry statement.

He noted that the law had been enacted without prior warning, and was as such “hostile”.

After unsuccessfully appealing to Sofia to repeal the law, “we made clear that if it remained in force, Hungary would veto Bulgaria’s Schengen entry,” the minister noted.

The Bulgarian government then indicated that parliament was prepared to withdraw the legislation.

Szijjarto said that his counterpart Marija Gabriel told him yesterday that parliament would repeal the law that imposed an extra tax on transporting of natural gas to Hungary.

“This good news,” he said, adding that it would be possible to return to the situation a few months ago in terms of the security of Hungary’s gas supply.

“In the past, Bulgaria had been a reliable transit partner, and we sincerely hope that by revoking this hostile law we can return to cooperation based on mutual respect that always characterised our relations in the past,” he said.

Szijjarto said he would instruct Hungary’s permanent representative in Brussels to withdraw Hungary’s veto of Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen as soon as Bulgaria’s intent was made official.

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