Hungary and Azerbaijan will raise their existing strategic partnership to the next level during a visit by Azeri President Ilham Aliyev this month, Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, told a press conference held jointly with Azerbaijan’s economy minister on Tuesday. Both sides are politically committed to a gas delivery agreement, Szijjártó said, adding that the Hungarian government was hopeful that Azeri gas could start contributing to Hungary’s energy security as soon as possible. Talks between Hungarian and Azeri energy companies are already under way, he added. Szijjártó said the foundations for a gas supply agreement were sound, noting the two countries’ strategic partnership.
Szijjártó underscored the importance of creating the contractual and physical conditions needed to deliver the gas from the southern corridor to the central part of Europe. He said this situation would make it clear whether the European Union had only been paying lip service to diversification and the importance of central Europe’s energy security, or if it was actually prepared to take steps to guarantee it.