Hungary, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey seek cooperation on energy
Foreign affairs officials from Hungary, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey have agreed to meet regularly and to set up a working committee to focus on infrastructural developments, Xinhua reported with the reference to Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjart.
Szijjarto made the remarks after a meeting attended by foreign ministers of Hungary, Greece, Macedonia, and Serbia, and Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs on Tuesday. The meeting focused on cooperation to boost regional energy security and competitiveness.
Addressing a news conference, Szijjarto said the committee would handle the nuts and bolts of implementation including financing, pricing, and resourcing.
The committee's door is open to all countries that want to cooperate, he added, noting that he expected Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina to join the group.
The current infrastructure was insufficient to establish energy security, Szijjarto said, adding the goals were to receive gas from multiple sources and to have suppliers compete for consumers, so all possible sources had to be supported.
Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic called the meeting an opportunity to officially declare their commitment to the infrastructural projects promoting energy security.
Everyone has been affected by the cancellation of Russia's South Stream project, with Hungary and Serbia being particularly hard-hit, he said. Dacic suggested dialogue between Russia and the European Commission on South Stream.
Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki said that the region needed energy and that energy had to be supplied in a more competitive fashion. The group needs European Union's help and international financing, he added.
Greek Foreign Miniter Nikolaos Kotzias pointed out the significance of having alternative routes through which the energy sources arrived.
Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir called energy a key issue for Turkey, since it has to import 70 percent of its supply. Being an important transit country, Turkey was ready to contribute to helping Europe with its energy security, he added.
The ministers issued a joint statement calling for the resolution to their energy supply problems. Their next meeting will be in July.