Hungary pushes for natural gas import from US

Int’l Relations

Foreign Trade State Secretary Péter Szijjártó discussed bilateral economic cooperation between the United States and Hungary and the possibility of US gas exports to Europe with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Brian Yee and US Bureau of Energy Resources Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy Amos Hochstein in Budapest on Tuesday, press secretary Judit Fülöp informed national news service MTI.

Fülöp said that Szijjártó had emphasized to Yee and Hochstein that gas exports from the United States to Europe would increase the energy security of countries throughout the continent, including Hungary.

Szijjártó also informed the US officials of the government’s position with regard to the situation surrounding the stake of Hungarian oil-and-gas company MOL in Croatia-based peer INA, emphasizing the importance of LNG-terminals to be built in Croatia. US law permits energy companies to freely export gas to Canada, Mexico and other countries with which the United States has concluded free-trade agreements. The United States has not concluded such agreements with European states.

The US Congress is currently considering legislation that would require the Energy Department to approve applications for the export of natural gas to members of NATO, Japan and to any other country to which gas exports would promote US national-security interests.

Earlier this week, Hochstein had met with Croatian Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak on issues including the MOL/INA dispute, only to have the US side inform that the matter must be solved among the relevant companies themselves.

-- material by David Landry was used in this article

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