Tue, 26 Sep 2023

BUCHAREST, Romania: Amidst an energy crisis caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the leaders of Hungary, Romania, Georgia and Azerbaijan have signed an agreement to jointly build an undersea electric connector that could become a new power source for the European Union (EU).

Under the agreement, a cable running beneath the Black Sea will link Azerbaijan to Hungary via Georgia and Romania.

After opposing EU sanctions against Russia, Hungary aims to find additional fossil fuel sources, while Azerbaijan plans to export electricity from offshore wind farms to Europe via Georgia through a cable beneath the Black Sea, and then to Romania and Hungary.

In a statement last week, the office of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said that the agreement will provide the "financial and technical framework" for the project, which will aim to diversify energy supplies and increase regional energy security.

Meanwhile, Romanian natural gas producer Romgaz said it has signed a contract with Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR to receive natural gas through the "southern gas corridor."

In August, Hungary's foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, said that by signing the agreement for the project, which could bring energy to Europe, Hungary was fulfilling a requirement that two EU member nations participate, in order for the investment to receive funding from Brussels.

Azerbaijan would soon produce "large quantities of green electricity" with offshore wind farms, he added.

Hungary receives 85 percent of its natural gas and more than 60 percent of its oil from Russia.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Romanian President Iohannis, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attended the signing ceremony in Bucharest on December 17, in the presence of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

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