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Orbán urged Trump to step up Black Sea gas project

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán urged U.S. President Donald Trump to work to establish cooperation with Romania in the interest of starting gas production in the Black Sea “as soon as possible” at their recent meeting at the White House, Orbán said in his weekly interview on public radio last Friday.

Orbán pictured at one of his regular weekly public radio interviews

U.S.-based ExxonMobil is weighing an offshore production investment in the Black Sea that could supply Hungary with gas, diversifying the country’s energy supply. Last week, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó publicly urged the company to take a decision on the project quickly, or Hungary may seal another long-term gas supply deal with Russia.

“For Hungary, the only alternative source of gas extraction to Russian gas is in Romania, so diversification of the Hungarian gas trade can only be plausible if Romanian-American cooperation becomes a reality as soon as possible,” Orbán said. “I noted that this is in the interests of Hungary and I urged the president to do it as soon as possible.”

On the topic of military agreements with the United States, Orbán told Kossuth Rádio that Hungary’s ability to defend “critical infrastructure” is “incomplete,” and that the country needs mid-range air defense rockets. He said the legal process necessary to obtain these rockets is “going well.”