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Hungary calls on EU to support expansion of Southeast European gas infrastructure to receive more Azeri gas

At a joint press conference with his Azeri counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó welcomed that physical flow of natural gas between Azerbaijan and Hungary has started this year and called on the European Union to support the expansion of the Southeast European gas infrastructure to receive more volumes.

He highlighted that Azerbaijan could be a realistic alternative for the diversification of energy supplies not only for Hungary, but also for Europe. “After many years of negotiations, the physical flow of natural gas between Azerbaijan and Hungary has started this year,” announced the Minister recalling that an agreement had been reached between the two countries on the purchase of 100 million cubic metres (mcm) of natural gas and the storage of 50 mcm on a lease basis. Azeri state oil company, SOCAR has already started pumping the first 50 mcm of gas into Hungarian storage facilities.

The Hungarian minister added that the government would like to further increase this volume to about one billion cubic meters per year but currently, this is not possible, as the gas infrastructure in Southeastern Europe does not have sufficient capacity to meet the diversification needs of the countries in Central Europe.

He affirmed that countries in the region would welcome Azeri, Turkish and Qatari resources to the region, but this will remain a dream unless the EU is willing to support the development of the infrastructure.

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