Moscow (MTI) – Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto discussed with Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak possible moves following Russia’s recent withdrawal from the planned South Stream gas pipeline project, at their talks in Moscow on Monday.
Szijjarto told MTI that they also discussed alternative ways of delivering Russian gas to Central Europe, as well as ways of strengthening Hungarian oil and gas company Mol’s presence in Russia.
He welcomed it as good news for both Hungary and the whole of Europe that Novak reaffirmed Russia’s commitment to continued energy cooperation with Europe in the future.
Novak also reaffirmed Russia’s plan to deliver the full amount of gas intended originally to be supplied by South Stream to a facility in Turkey where a major regional gas distribution centre is planned to be constructed near the border with Greece, Szijjarto said.
A related task will be for Hungary to create the financial, technical and infrastructural conditions for bringing gas supplied by Russia and partly by Azerbaijan via Turkey and south-eastern Europe to central Europe, he added.
Hungary will therefore need to hold talks with Greece, as well as countries in the western Balkans on a potential new gas delivery route, Szijjarto said.
The minister added that he had already held talks with his Macedonian and Serbian counterparts last week, adding that these negotiations would intensify during the first months of 2015.
Szijjarto said the planned expansion of Hungary’s sole nuclear plant at Paks had not been discussed in detail. Novak stated with satisfaction that Russia and Hungary are cooperating in maintaining and boosting Hungary’s nuclear energy capacity. Szijjarto said Novak reassured him that leading Russian state nuclear energy firm Rosatom’s cooperation with Hungary would continue to be smooth.
Concerning the situation in Russia of Hungary’s Mol, Novak said it wasn’t against Moscow’s interest if the company would continue to be present in the Russian oil market and tap further opportunities there.