Cyprus: An Alternative to Reliance on Russian Gas

Hungary is continually looking for alternative ways to increase its energy security and to diversify its sources of supply. Thus the country considers the gas from the Cyprian Aphrodite field as a realistic alternative, and in this connection, the two countries have now concluded a bilateral energy agreement – said Mr. Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, in the inaugural speech of Hungarian Consulate from Nicosia, on Friday.

In Central Europe, the security of energy supply is a critical question. The gas supply in Hungary is primarily fed from one source: Russia. With the agreement now signed with Cyprus, Hungary is starting the preparation for ensuring that Cyprian gas will play a role in the gas supply of South East Europe and Central Europe in the medium term – added the minister.

The minister also announced that regarding the water cooperation between the two countries, Hungary would begin the negotiations with Cyprus to figure out how advanced Hungarian water technology can help improve the water supply in Cyprus. Ensuring the water supply and quality is a serious problem for Cyprus. The annual amount of precipitation has constantly been decreasing, and its distribution becomes more and more uneven, “- said Mr. Péter Szijjártó.

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Cyprus has Hungarian colonies with 2-3,000 people, and this year the number of Hungarian tourists who visited Cyprus has increased to 24,000 people by only the end of October, which means an increase of 72 percent if we compare the data to last year.

Cyprus is one of the most popular holiday resorts in Hungary, that is why we decided to open a consulate here in Nicosia to ensure the representation of the local Hungarians and for Hungarian people who come here as a visitor. From next April, scheduled flights will start to depart from Debrecen to Paphos, which can further expand the tourism of this destination – said Mr. Péter Szijjártó, who thinks that Hungary considers Cyprus both as a friend and an ally.

The two countries have a similar point of view regarding the issues of the European future. Both countries consider the strong nations of strong Europe as the goal for all concerned.