Hungary, Romania to sign electricity deal with Azerbaijan

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The leaders of Hungary, Romania, Georgia and Azerbaijan plan to meet in Romania’s capital Saturday to conclude an agreement on an undersea electricity connector that could become a new power source for the European Union amid a crunch on energy supplies caused by the war in Ukraine.

The agreement involves a cable running beneath the Black Sea which would link Azerbaijan to Hungary via Georgia and Romania, according to Bertalan Havasi, press officer for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Havasi confirmed to The Associated Press that Orban intends to travel to Bucharest on Saturday to sign the deal.

Hungarian news agency MTI reported that Orban, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev would attend the signing event alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Hungary’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, said in August that Azerbaijan would soon produce “large quantities of green electricity,” and that Hungary would sign onto the connector project since it requires the participation of two EU member nations to receive funding from the bloc.

Szijjarto said the project could be completed within three or four years, and that it would be a major step toward diversifying energy supplies and meeting carbon neutrality targets.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.