BUDAPEST (Sputnik) – Hungary has signed an agreement with Qatar on the purchase of natural gas, the countries plan to develop economic cooperation, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said after talks with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
“Over the past year, we have learned that Qatar is a country of key importance for Europe. The European economy has made up for a significant part of the missing Russian gas with LNG coming from here… We agreed on energy cooperation, we will also buy gas from here – it is always better to stand on several legs than on one,” Orban said in a video message from Doha posted on Facebook*.
He also said that after talks, the leaders of Hungary and Qatar also agreed to develop infrastructure and air traffic, cooperate in communications and agriculture, thus opening up a good prospect for Qatari-Hungarian economic cooperation.
The Hungarian prime minister also said Qatar, like Hungary, is ready to mediate in a peaceful settlement in Ukraine.
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly said Hungary is working on diversifying gas supplies to the country, but in the short term it will not be possible to replace Russian energy. In addition to increasing the import of Azerbaijani gas, Hungary is interested in increasing LNG supplies to the country through the terminal in Croatia’s Krk and developing a gas field in Romania.
Additionally, according to Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, Budapest, as part of the diversification of supplies, is considering the possibility to import oil from Ecuador in case the overland transit of Russian oil through Ukraine becomes impossible.
Earlier, Szijjarto said that during his visit to Qatari capital Doha, an agreement was signed, under which the energy companies of Hungary and Qatar may begin talks on the supply of liquefied natural gas to Hungary in about three years.
According to him, talks are also ongoing between Hungarian and Omani partners at the level of specialists and enterprises on the possible start of oil and natural gas imports from Oman. Szijjarto stressed that agreements with the Gulf countries on oil and gas supply to Hungary do not mean the abandonment of contracts with Russia, but are aimed at diversification.