Hungary eyes new gas route from Russia via Turkey

Updated: 2015-01-27 17:02


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Hungary eyes new gas route from Russia via Turkey

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto attends an interveiw in Budapest January 13, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

ANKARA - Hungary is ready to negotiate on delivering Russian natural gas through a new pipeline via Turkey after Russia cancelled the South Stream project, the Hungarian foreign minister said during his recent visit to Turkey.

Russia last month abandoned its South Stream pipeline project, which would have run under the Black Sea to southern Europe. Instead, Russia's state natural gas company said it wants its exports to Europe to bypass Ukraine entirely and go via a proposed new pipeline to Turkey.

"We also want to start negotiations as early as possible when Turkey decides to purchase natural gas from Russia. We want to start negotiations on how some portion of this natural gas can be transported to central Europe through Turkey," Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said during his latest two-day visit to Turkey.

The minister said Hungary has also entered into talks with Serbia and Macedonia on new delivery routes of natural gas, adding that one of the alternatives is to transport the gas from Turkey to Hungary through Greece-Macedonia-Serbia line.

Szijjarto praised the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline project that will pipe 16 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Azerbaijan to Turkey and eventually to Europe, adding that the project may help resolve the problem in natural gas supply.

His Turkish counterpart, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, also said that both countries will set up a joint committee to cooperate on energy field.

Hungary is one of the strongest supporters of Turkey's European Union (EU) membership bid. Szijjarto said his country considers Turkey as one of the important partners of Hungary as well as of the EU.