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Hungary ‘moving forward’ in talks for Qatar gas supply: PM

By entering into this agreement, Hungary aims to diversify its energy sources and reduce dependence on a single supplier.

Hungary and Qatar are solidifying their commitment by moving forward with a gas purchase agreement, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Tuesday.

The official said talks are still ongoing with the Gulf nation, though supplies are unlikely to arrive before 2026, Orban said in a Bloomberg interview on Tuesday at the Qatar Economic Forum.

The natural gas deal is expected to enhance energy security for Hungary while fostering economic growth and cooperation between the two nations.

“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,” said Orban.

By entering into this agreement, Hungary aims to diversify its energy sources and reduce dependence on a single supplier – Russia.  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 to siphon gas from the Gulf.

The gas purchase agreement with Qatar is expected to strengthen the energy sector in Hungary and promote the development of related industries. It is anticipated that the agreement will not only provide Hungary with a reliable source of natural gas but also create opportunities for investment and technological exchange between the two countries.

Earlier last year, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto signed an agreement during his visit to Doha.

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.

However, 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.

The country’s membership in the European Union further reinforces the potential benefits of this gas purchase agreement, as Hungary seeks to strengthen ties within the EU single market.

Hungary, which has close ties with Russia, has even offered to mediate in a peaceful settlement in Ukraine. It has also obtained an exemption from the EU’s oil sanctions against Russia.

Since the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine in February, LNG giant Qatar has been approached by several European countries, including Italy, Austria and Germany.

Last year, Germany signed a 15-year LNG agreement with Qatar, with flows expected to kick start in 2026.

Europe previously received 40% of its gas supplies from Moscow, and almost a third of the shipments pass through Ukraine before supplies dropped under geopolitical tensions.