Hungary’s foreign minister decorates former US special envoy for energy affairs
Budapest, March 30 (MTI) – Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó awarded Amos J. Hochstein, the US State Department’s former special envoy for energy affairs, Hungary’s Order of Merit, knight’s cross in Budapest on Thursday.
The minister praised the US’s role as Hungary’s ally in meeting European Union guidelines, and Hochstein’s personal contribution to helping countries of central and southeast Europe fulfill international commitments. The latter is a matter of national security as well, Szijjártó noted.
Hochstein called energy security “one of the last unsolved, divisive issues” in the EU, adding that it greatly influences Hungary’s security and the region’s competitiveness.
Szijjártó said Hungary was “caught in the crossfire” on issues of energy policy, arguing that a lack of infrastructure has put the country “at the mercy of a single source”. The “energy blockade” from the south is also unchanged, he said.
The EU has “killed” the South Stream initiative, and neglected to secure Hungary’s gas supply through Romania and Croatia, Szijjártó said.