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Szijjártó urges tighter regional cooperation on energy security

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjárto pressed for closer cooperation between countries in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe to implement projects that boost energy security in the region, speaking at the Euro-Asian Energy Security Forum in Belgrade today, Hungarian news agency MTI reports.

Szijjártó said countries in Central and Eastern Europe must harmonize their interests on energy security. Double standards must be eliminated, each country must determine their own energy mix, and cooperation with Eurasia is a necessity, he added.

Szijjártó called for diversification, in terms of type of energy, source and means of delivery.

Hungary does not want to take the side of either Russia or the United States when it decides on its energy mix, rather it will weigh the interests of Hungarians, he said. The point is that there should be a balance between East and West, and that requires mutual respect, he added.

He responded to criticism of Central and Eastern European countries cooperating with Russia on energy, noting that some countries in Western Europe have much closer energy ties to Russia. This kind of double standard is unacceptable, he insisted.