Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Hungary energy security impossible without Turkiye transit route

Turkiye is a reliable and predictable transit partner without whom Hungary's energy security would not be guaranteed, Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in Ankara on Wednesday.

Responding to a question at a news conference following the inauguration of an incubator plant built by Hungary’s Medicor, Szijjarto expressed Hungary’s gratitude for the role Turkiye plays in guaranteeing the country’s energy security.

“There can be no secure energy supply in Hungary without the transit route in Turkiye,” the minister said, pointing out that the TurkStream gas pipeline was the only east-west pipeline in Europe that was operating reliably.

He said “we received some friendly warnings, or more specifically, threats of sanctions from our common friends and allies” that building the pipeline would “lead to big trouble”.

“But we held out, and didn’t give in to the threat of sanctions,” Szijjarto said. “If we hadn’t held out, the TurkStream pipeline wouldn’t have been built, and we wouldn’t be able to guarantee Hungary’s natural gas supply.”

He said the Hungarian government would continue to count on Turkiye’s role as a gas transit country, noting a developing agreement on the purchase of gas from Azerbaijan which would require the same transit route. Talks are also ongoing with Turkish energy company Botas on the purchase of Turkish natural gas, he added.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto highlighted the importance of nuclear energy when it comes to energy cooperation, given that Hungary and Turkiye are building nuclear plants that use the same technology.

The reactor blocks being built in Turkiye are expected to be the ones to go online sooner, and will provide useful information to Hungary for when its own new blocks become operational, Szijjarto said.

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