Bulgaria, Hungary to Advance Energy Cooperation

Bulgaria, Hungary to Advance Energy Cooperation

Bulgaria, Hungary to Advance Energy Cooperation

Brussels, July 17 (BTA) - Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister for judicial reform and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva conferred with Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto in Brussels on Monday, Zaharieva's ministry said.

The two discussed bilateral relations, ways to enhance energy cooperation and prospects before the Western Balkans.

Zaharieva and Szijjarto underscored that work on regional energy projects should be sped up in order to allow for diversification of supply sources as well as routes.

The European Commission has supported a Bulgarian initiative for a gas hub which will contribute to the development of a competitive and liberalized market for natural gas. The Bulgarian Foreign Minister reviewed projects for interconnector links and LNG terminals in the region.

The two ministers discussed cooperation with regards to the Western Balkans during the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EEU in the first half of 2018 and the 12-month Hungarian presidency of the Visegrad Group beginning on July 1 2017.

Zaharieva said: "The only way ahead for the region is the European prospect. The European prospect for the Balkans is a priority for the Hungarian Visegrad Presidency and the Bulgarian EU Presidency."Zaharieva said that migration is a problem for the whole EU, which calls for pan-European solutions as Bulgaria has insisted since 2013.

Szijjarto noted the excellent business relations between Budapest and Sofia. Hungary is among Bulgaria's key trading partners and is in the top ten foreign investors with 1,114.5 million euro in direct investments between 2002 and 2017. In 2016, two-way trade totalled 1,388 million euro.

According to official data, there are 6,000 Bulgarians in Hungary is 6,000. The Bulgarian minority is among the 13 officially recognized minorities in Hungary.

Source: Brussels