Azerbaijan can be a reliable supplier of energy to Europe for a hundred years, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Monday during a visit to Hungary, RIA Novosti reported.
"Our country has enough energy to meet Europe's needs as a reliable supplier for the next hundred years," Aliyev said during a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, MTI news agency reported.
Orban, in turn, said that Azerbaijan has promised to double the amount of natural gas supplied to Europe by 2027, and has also signed an agreement with Georgia, Hungary and Romania to supply green electricity to Europe via the Black Sea bed.
"Both natural gas and electricity coming from Azerbaijan go through Hungary, so Hungary also benefits from this new situation. We are happy that Hungary is becoming part of the solution, not a problem in terms of Europe's energy supply," Orban said.
The agency also reports that Aliyev invited Orban and President Katalin Novak, with whom he also met during a visit to Budapest, to visit Azerbaijan on an official visit.
Seven agreements were signed during the visit, the most important of which was a declaration on expanded strategic partnership. The others dealt, among other things, with cooperation on natural gas, agriculture, space research and migration.
Peter Szijjarto, head of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated earlier that Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia appealed to the EC to allocate funds for infrastructure development for supplies of Azeri gas to Europe, since it meets the interests of the whole region. According to him, it will become clear whether the EU is ready to move from talk about supply diversification to taking real steps to implement it. In September Sijjjarto announced at the meeting of energy ministers of Turkic states that the volume of gas coming from Azerbaijan to Europe would double in the coming years, calling it the most realistic possibility of diversification of the European energy supply.
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry said Hungary was working to diversify gas supplies to the country, but it would not be possible to replace Russian energy resources in the short term. In addition to increasing imports of Azeri gas, Hungary is interested in increasing LNG supplies to the country through a terminal in the Croatian Krk and the development of a gas field in Romania.