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Hungary’s foreign affairs and trade minister has reached a deal with his Azeri counterpart to set up a working group tasked with laying the groundwork for the delivery of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Hungary from 2021.

It is in Hungary’s interest to have access to Azerbaijan’s increased supply of gas to Europe from 2021, Péter Szijjártó told MTI. This is important for Hungary because the diversification of its gas supply has been on the agenda for a long time. But until now, there have always been geopolitical and regional political hurdles along the way, the minister said. “Now, with Azerbaijan, there’s a realistic chance for this after 2021, and it’ll significantly improve Hungary’s gas supply,” Szijjártó said, commenting on his talks with Parviz Shahbazov in Baku.
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has taken its toll on Europe, he said, noting that it has kept the two countries from signing a new gas transit deal that would ensure the delivery of Russian gas to central Europe via Ukraine. This presents a particularly tough challenge for Hungary, as more than half of the gas it imports from Russia is delivered through Ukraine, the minister said.