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A consortium made up of Hungary’s largest construction companies will be involved in the rebuilding of Soltani, in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region, from next year on, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said. The foreign ministry quoted Szijjártó as saying at a press conference held jointly with Azeri Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov that both countries were “extremely committed” to further developing ties. Szijjártó called Hungary’s participation in Azerbaijan’s reconstruction an important achievement, adding that the reconstruction plans have been approved and parts of the relevant agreements signed. The minister noted that Hungary started importing natural gas from Azerbaijan earlier this year, under an agreement aimed at importing an annual 100 million cubic metres of gas and storing 50 million cubic metres for Azerbaijan for a fee. He added, however, that increasing those amounts would necessitate “European Union measures to facilitate infrastructure developments in south-eastern Europe”.
“We call on the European Union to do more for energy diversification than nudging member states … Brussels should act, too, and ensure funds to increase gas transit capacities” through which central European countries could import more gas from Azerbaijan, he said.
Szijjártó said Hungary’s exports to Azerbaijan increased 3.5 times in the first half of 2023, with its total value exceeding last year’s grand total. He added that imports were also fast increasing. He noted that Hungarian energy company MOL was “an important player” in Azerbaijan’s oil extraction, and increased volumes of oil imports from that country were contributing to Hungary’s energy security. Hungary and its people “greatly profit from a long-term cooperation with Azerbaijan,” Szijjártó said, noting that the two countries started their energy cooperation in 2010.