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Energy policy ‘must be freed from ideological debates, hypocrisy’, minister says

Governments have the duty to guarantee energy security while considering environmental factors, the foreign minister said in Belgrade on Monday, adding it was a "serious problem" that energy policy had been "taken hostage by ideological debates and hypocrisy".
13. May 2024 17:30

Speaking at the Belgrade Energy Forum, Peter Szijjarto said responsible energy policy considered both supply security and environmental aspects, according to a ministry statement. European Union sanctions against Russia were an example of energy policy being moored to ideological debates, he said.

While western European countries “proudly declare that they have freed themselves from Russian crude in the past few years”, Europe had become the largest buyer of Indian crude, he said. Meanwhile, the share of Russian crude imports to India had jumped from 0.5 percent to 35 percent, he said, adding that most LNG coming to western Europe also derived from Russia.

The EU, he said, did not support capacity expansions of pipelines in south-eastern Europe on the ground that within 15 years natural gas would not be part of the bloc’s energy mix. But, he added, the national energy mix should remain a competency of member states, and “we must be freed from external pressure and consider national characteristics”.

Hungary’s government regards green policy in terms of “preserving Earth for future generations” rather than as an ideological or political issue, he insisted.

A “responsible, safe, truly carbon neutral future” may be achieved only by expanding nuclear capacities and by speeding up the transition to electric vehicle manufacturing, he said. Hungary will use its upcoming EU presidency to establish a scheme to boost demand in respect of the latter, Szijjarto added.

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