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The increased natural gas production in Azerbaijan can play a key role in the energy security of Hungary and central Europe, the foreign minister said, adding that this required regional infrastructure developments supported by the EU.

The severe energy crisis has made Azerbaijan more important for Europe, Péter Szijjártó told a press conference held jointly with Azerbaijan’s economy minister, according to a foreign ministry statement. He argued that increased natural gas production in the South Caucasus country was the best option for Europe to diversify its gas supplies in the short and medium term. “If Europe can’t acquire new energy sources, if it can’t build new energy supply routes, then energy supply won’t be secure.” It is in Hungary’s interest to incorporate Azeri energy sources into its energy mix as soon as possible, the minister said, adding that this required large-scale infrastructure developments in south-eastern and central Europe, too. Szijjártó said Hungary has turned to the European Commission together with Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia, asking Brussels to treat the matter as a priority and provide support for the developments needed to guarantee the region’s energy security. He welcomed Azerbaijan’s aim to double gas supplies to Europe by 2027.