Energy ambassador in D.C. meet with Boehner

Int’l Relations

Hungary’s ambassador-at-large for energy security, Anita Orbán, met with US Speaker of the House John Boehner, yesterday amidst various meetings and senate hearings on the matter of expanding US exportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Visegrád Four (Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia), the Baltic states and other Central Eastern European nations.

Orbán informed national news service MTI that she had noted at the meeting that the Washington ambassadors of the Visegrád group had sent a letter to Congressional leaders at the beginning of March, urging them to support the release of a permit to export LNG to Europe, especially for the purpose of securing the energy security of the CEE. She thanked Boehner for reacting supportively. 

Boehner actually reacted swiftly to the March communiqué as well, stating immediately that “I hope President Obama will heed this call from our allies to use his ‘pen and phone’ to direct the Secretary of Energy to immediately approve pending natural gas export requests and do everything possible to use American energy to reduce the dependency on Russia for our friends in Europe and around the globe.”

“There is an historic opportunity ahead of us now, because the situation in Ukraine is a wake-up call,” said Orbán.

This week, Boehner reiterated one of his favorite pieces of rhetoric related to LGE exportation, i.e. the potential effect of such a deal between the US and European nations would have on Russian interests. “I hope [Obama] uses [his current round of official visits to Europe] as an opportunity to discuss how we can help the Europeans reduce their dependence on Vladimir Putin, Boehner said. “Expediting the approval of US natural gas exports would send a clear signal that Russia’s energy stranglehold on Europe will not continue, and … would create more American jobs...”

In advance of the various meetings on the issue in Washington, National Economy Ministry State Secretary Zoltán Csefalvay addressed a conference of US business leaders and Visegrád Four officials to tote the region’s stability and potential for growth.

At the conference, Csefalvay emphasized some joint selling points of the Visegrád countries, enumerating to national news service MTI the “growing economy, flexible economic policy, openness to global economy, and strong industrial base” as among them.

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