Deal reached for new non-Russian power source for Europe

The leaders of Hungary, Romania, Georgia and Azerbaijan finalized a deal on Saturday for an undersea electricity link that could provide a new source of energy for the European Union amid an energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.

The contract envisages a cable under the Black Sea that will connect Azerbaijan to Hungary via Georgia and Romania.

The deal comes as Hungary, a staunch opponent of EU sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine, looks for additional sources of fossil fuels to reduce its heavy dependence on Russian oil and gas.

Azerbaijan plans to export electricity from offshore wind farms to Europe via Georgia, a cable under the Black Sea, and then to Romania and Hungary.

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The office of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis announced on Friday that the four-nation agreement would provide a “financial and technical basis” for the undersea power cable project.

The project will aim to diversify energy supply and increase regional energy security, the report says.

On Friday, Romanian natural gas producer Romgaz also said it had signed an agreement with Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR to supply natural gas through the so-called Southern Gas Corridor. Delivery will start on January 1st. Romgaz said it will serve its strategic goals” to diversify natural gas sources.

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Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in August that Azerbaijan would soon produce “a large amount of green electricity” with offshore wind farms and that by joining a link project that could bring this energy to Europe, Hungary fulfilled the requirement that two EU member states participate in order to receive the investment. financing from the block.

Szijjarto said the project could be completed in three to four years and that it would be a big step towards diversifying the energy supply and achieving carbon neutrality goals.

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This week, Szijjarto met with Qatari and Omani officials about possible future imports of oil and natural gas to Hungary from the two Middle Eastern countries, another sign that Hungary is taking steps to cut its 85 percent. over 60% of its oil currently comes from Russia.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Romanian President Iohannis, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attended the signing event in Bucharest on Saturday along with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.


Spike reported from Budapest. Contributed by Stephen McGrath in Bucharest.


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