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Szijjarto: Hungary, Bulgaria’s alliance extends to energy supply

Hungary and Bulgaria have a close alliance on the security of natural gas supply and the use of nuclear energy as well, Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in Budapest on Saturday, adding that this contributed greatly to Hungary's long-term energy security.

According to a foreign ministry statement, Szijjarto said he had held talks with Bulgarian Energy Minister Vladimir Malinov, who is accompanying President Rumen Radev on his official visit to Budapest.

Most of the natural gas Hungary imports is delivered via Bulgaria through the TurkStream pipeline which runs from Russia to Hungary via Turkiye, Bulgaria and Serbia, Szijjarto noted.

Hungary received 5.6 billion cubic metres of gas via this delivery route last year, which accounts for around 65 percent of the country’s annual consumption, the minister said.

“Therefore we clearly have an interest in the TurkStream gas pipeline remaining a secure and reliable route for gas deliveries to Hungary,” he said.

“Bulgaria has once again guaranteed that we can continue to rely on them and their fair approach in the coming period, and that the TurkStream gas pipeline will continue to function as one of Europe’s most secure and predictable routes,” he added.

Hungary has received over 2.5 billion cubic metres of gas via TurkStream so far this year, and this volume is expected to more than double by the end of the year, Szijjarto said.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto highlighted Hungary and Bulgaria’s cooperation in the area of nuclear energy, noting that nuclear power accounted for a significant share of both countries’ energy supply.

“Bulgaria also has a nuclear power plant and it is planning to increase the long-term share of nuclear energy in its energy mix, as are we,” he said.

“The expansion of the Paks plant is progressing well, with 17,000 out of 75,000 piles already in place where the two new reactors will be, and the first concrete remains on track to be poured by the end of the year,” Szijjarto said. “And that’ll be an important milestone in the construction that will be key in terms of the schedule for the coming period.”

He emphasised that Hungary and Bulgaria rejected any negative discrimination against nuclear energy.

Hungary, he added, considered any attempts to undermine its nuclear cooperation or initiatives aimed at restricting the use of nuclear energy an attack on its energy security.

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