Hungary, Romania agree on gas supplies
Romania will establish the technical conditions for gas exports to Hungary by 2020 in line with an agreement signed by foreign ministers Péter Szijjártó of Hungary and Teodor Melescanu of Romania in Bucharest on Monday.
From 2022, large volumes of gas extracted on the Black Sea will be available to Hungary, Szijjártó said. Hungarian companies have reserved the entire 4.4 billion cubic metres annual capacity on the Romania-Hungary supply route, he added.
“This is the first opportunity in the past few decades that Hungary can buy large volumes of gas from a non-Russian source,” he said, hailing the cooperation agreement as “historic progress towards Hungary’s energy security”.
The Romanian side agreed to build the compressors that will enable an annual supply of 1.75 billion cubic metres of gas by 2020 and this will be expanded to 4.4 billion by 2022.
“Hungary’s government has decided to build the missing pipeline link between the central gas distribution hub in Városföld and Vecsés near Budapest, where the Slovak-Hungarian gas pipeline ends. With this link, the north-south gas corridor, a facility crucial for national security in central Europe, will be complete,” he said.
The two countries agreed that the first TGV-type rail link of the region should be established between Budapest and Cluj (Kolozsvár) in central Romania. The Hungarian government has earmarked 1 billion forints (EUR 3.3m) for the feasibility study of the project, Szijjártó said. He added that Hungary has nothing against Romania’s plan to extend the line to Bucharest.
Hungary and Romania have agreed to convert two out of ten existing temporary border crossings into permanent, round-the-clock facilities.
Szijjártó also met the speakers of Romania’s two-chamber parliament and leader Hunor Kelemen of the ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party.
Szijjártó discusses Ukraine education law with Romanian colleague
No minority in Ukraine can suffer a violation of their rights to education, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said.
The law, passed last autumn, bans post-primary-level education in minority languages.
Szijjártó and Melescanu agreed that they would continue to cooperate in their opposition to the law so that Ukraine cannot violate the acquired rights of its ethnic minorities.
The two officials were also in agreement that the Ukrainian government should discuss the law with the country’s minority groups before implementing it. Kiev must also respect the Venice Commission’s recommendations in connection with the law, Szijjártó said.
He reiterated that the Hungarian government wants to continue cooperating with Romania on the issue of the Ukrainian education law based on mutual respect.
“One aspect of this is that we mutually respect the rights of minorities in line with European standards and view them as assets,” Szijjártó said.
Szijjártó said the Hungarian government was paying close attention to the situation of a church school in Targu Mures (Marosvásárhely) whose operation had been suspended by Romania last year. The government trusts that Romania will honour a promise made by Parliamentary Speaker Liviu Dragnea to resolve the school’s situation, Szijjártó added.
“We are continuously monitoring this situation and we are also in contact with the leaders of the [ethnic Hungarian] RMDSZ party.”