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Peter Szijjártó, the foreign affairs and trade minister, said Hungary could start importing natural gas from Azerbaijan from 2023 on.
Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the Hungary-Azerbaijan mixed economic committee, Szijjártó said the annual 1-2 billion cubic metres of gas Hungary would import from Azerbaijan would greatly boost the security of the country’s gas supply.
He said Hungary’s purchase of Azeri gas had been made possible by the near completion of the southern gas corridor and Azerbaijan’s increase of its gas output which now exceeds 45 billion cubic metres a year. Azerbaijan places great emphasis on increasing its gas delivery capacity which is set to exceed 30 billion cubic metres a year, Szijjártó said.
He highlighted an agreement between Hungarian oil and gas company MOL and the US company Chevron which resulted in MOL acquiring a 9.5% stake in the largest offshore Azeri oil field which also meant a nearly 9% stake in the largest oil pipeline of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus. He said this had been the largest Hungarian investment in the Caucasus.
Hungary offers 200 scholarships to Azeri students at universities each year, he said. Interest has been very high in this opportunity, with nearly 600 applicants this year, he added.
Azeri Minister of Labour and Social Protection Sahil Babayev said that Azerbaijan and Hungary were strategic partners in both politics and the economy.
He praised the scholarship scheme and added that nearly a thousand Azeri students had benefited from it.