Starting from 2024, a consortium of Hungary’s most prominent construction companies will be involved in the efforts to rebuild Soltani in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced at a joint press conference with the Azeri Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov on Monday, 11 September in Budapest.
At the conference, Minister Szijjártó stressed the importance of Azeri-Hungarian cooperation, highlighting the bilateral deal
by which Hungary has acquired 100 million cubic metres of natural gas per year from the Caucasian country,
with an additional 50 million cubic metres it can store for free.
Szijjártó also urged the European Union’s institutions to do more for energy diversification than just ‘nudging member states’, calling on Brussels to ‘act, too, and ensure funds to increase gas transit capacities’ through which Central European countries can transport gas from Azerbaijan.
He went on to point out that Hungary’s exports to Azerbaijan increased more than three-fold in the first half of 2023 compared to last year, with last year’s volume already having been exceeded by the 2023 numbers so far. Also, he called the Hungarian oil and gas giant MOL ‘an important player’ in the Azeri oil extraction business, adding that the oil exports from the Asian country also adds to Hungary’s energy security. The Budapest and Baku government started their energy partnership back in 2010. In January 2023, PM Viktor Orbán of Hungary and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan signed a new batch of agreements related to energy and infrastructure.
As for Hungary’s part in the Azeri reconstruction efforts, the Hungarian Foreign Minister called it ‘an important achievement’, adding that the countries are ‘extremely committed’ to further developing ties. Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region is a disputed territory, with Armenia also claiming the land. As a result, military conflicts and blockades have plagued the region in recent years.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI