Romanian president promises alternative to Russian gas for Hungary

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Hungarian President Katalin Novák in Budapest on October 11, 2023. (Facebook)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said that his country is ready to support Hungary with energy supplies during a joint press conference in Budapest with Hungarian President Katalin Novák.

Romania is open to “support Hungarian investments throughout our country, and Romanian companies will be encouraged to continue to invest in Hungary,” said Iohannis on Wednesday, Oct. 11. “It is very clear that Romania can become a partner and a relevant energy supplier for Hungary, and I think that would be a very good thing because Hungary, Romania and all of Europe want to decouple from Russian resources.”

Novák also signaled that her country would like to buy gas from Romania in order to reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

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“If we talk about energy cooperation between the two countries, this is an extremely important area for both countries. With Neptune Deep (a Black Sea gas platform), a new opportunity is opening up. The European Union has an obligation here; it would be good if the EU also invests here (…) I want to draw the (Romanian) president’s attention to the fact that Hungary wants to buy gas and reduce our dependence on Russia,” said Novák.

Hungary continues to receive Russian oil and gas in large quantities, with up to 85 percent of its energy needs being met by Russia before the war. Much of Hungary’s infrastructure is also designed to process Russian energy supplies. The country suffers from its landlocked geographical location, making it dependent on pipeline supplies transferred through other countries.

Iohannis, however, signaled that the details of supplying Hungary with natural gas still need to be worked out.

“We want to have other sources of energy. Of course, in detail these issues are solved on a commercial basis, there are companies that will exploit the resources, companies that transport, companies that import, but in order for these things to work very well, there needs to be a good interconnection between our economies and, concretely, a good physical interconnection. And I understand that there is a desire on both sides to take determined steps in this direction. So, here is a very good opportunity for Romania and Hungary to become strategic partners in the field of energy.” Iohannis added.

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