Hungary wants to make use of the possibility of energy cooperation with Venezuela and is exploring ways to import liquefied natural gas from and export oil extraction technologies to the Latin American country, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Caracas. Hungary wants as few sanctions as possible to be imposed worldwide in the future, Szijjártó told a press conference held together with his Venezuelan counterpart, Yvan Gil, arguing that sanctions were mostly ineffective but caused much damage and suffering for “everyday people who are not to blame for anything”. “We want global cooperation and connectivity instead of sanctions,” Szijjártó said. “That’s why we’re glad that the United States has eased its sanctions on Venezuela.” “We now urge the European Union to follow the example of the US and relax its own sanctions [on the country],” he said, noting that the EU has cut the time between reviews of its sanctions from one year to six months. Hungary has maintained diplomatic ties with Venezuela for over half a century, and the Hungarian community in the country is the third largest in Latin America, the foreign ministry quoted Szijjártó as saying. Hungary wants to take advantage of this, as well as Venezuela’s policy of opening to the rest of the world, and give new momentum to cooperation between the two countries, the minister said.
“We want to take advantage of the fact that Venezuela is now opening the door to energy cooperation,” Szijjártó said, adding that Hungary was exploring the possibility of importing LNG from the country. “We’ve entered into talks on the use of Hungarian oil extraction technologies in Venezuela,” he announced.
Szijjártó also said Hungary will offer scholarships to 25 Venezuelan university students each year starting in 2024. In addition, the two countries will elevate their diplomatic ties to an ambassadorial level and the honorary consul in Caracas will be promoted to honorary consul general, he said.
Meanwhile, Szijjártó lamented that the world was dominated by increasingly severe conflicts and that international politics was mainly about “lecturing each other, disputes and sanctions”. “We would like it if global politics finally returned to the basis of mutual respect,” he said. As regards the war in Ukraine, Szijjártó noted that Hungary wanted peace as soon as possible, as only peace could “put an end to the suffering … save lives and end the destruction”. “This war has severely weakened Europe, and we don’t want Europe to become even weaker,” he said. “And … we thank Venezuela for regularly underlining the importance of peace at international forums.”