Central Europe’s energy supply is a security issue, and it will only be properly dealt with if the necessary infrastructural developments are carried out with the help of EU or US funding, Hungary’s foreign minister said in Washington on Wednesday.
Péter Szijjártó is in the US capital to meet with US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, leading energy company executives and to give a talk at the World Gas conference.
Central Europe’s energy security and the need for the region to end its one-sided energy dependency is a recurring topic among major global political players, Szijjártó said.
But, he added, the US or EU-funded infrastructure investments that could make this happen are not there.
Until the United States or the European Union provides funding for major central European energy infrastructure developments, the prospect of central European countries importing gas from the US or any other part of the world “will remain but a dream”, Szijjártó said. This is why it is important to “put an end to the use of double talk and double standards” and for global political players to look at the issue of Europe’s energy security as something other than “stakes in their geopolitical games”, the minister added.
Szijjártó said it was time to put greater international pressure on countries in the region that violate their commitment to ensure reverse gas flows through their interconnectors, singling out Romania and Croatia.
He said it was also important to keep the pressure on Romania to start extracting gas from its Black Sea gas field from 2022. International pressure should also be applied to secure the construction of LNG terminals around central Europe, he added.
Szijjártó welcomed Israel’s and Egypt’s discoveries of new gas fields on their respective maritime territories.
The discovery will allow central Europe to consider Israel as an energy supply source from 2024, he said, adding that Israel was willing to consider exporting its gas to the region.
Featured image: MTI