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Cyprus can help solve EU energy crunch

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Budapest believes Cyprus’ yet untapped natural gas finds can help resolve Europe’s energy crisis instead of price caps and sanctions on Russian energy, said Hungary foreign minister Péter Szijjártó Monday.

Cyprus’ gas fields can be a significant part of the solution to Europe’s crunch, said Hungary’s top diplomat after meeting his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides in Nicosia.

‘We need more gas to be delivered to Europe on more delivery routes.

“That’s why, instead of sanctions and instead of price caps, we want new sources to be involved in the European gas market, and new delivery roots to be built, namely new pipelines and new LNG ports,” Szijjártó told reporters.

“And here, Cyprus -I think- can offer a big chance and a big opportunity for Europe.

“The big gas fields which have been found here in the zone of Cyprus can be a significant part of the solution for the energy crisis in Europe,” he added.

Hungary does not agree to an EU price cap on imported gas, arguing it would end Russian deliveries, which it heavily relies on.

“The most serious challenge we are faced with now in Europe, caused by the war and sanctions, is the crisis of supply of energy.

“All those measures on behalf of Brussels or the member states which decrease the volume of gas on the European market will have the impact of further increased prices,” said Szijjártó.

He said instead of sanctions and price caps, Hungary wanted new sources to be involved in the European gas market and new delivery roots to be built.

“That’s why the European Union, instead of thinking about sanctions and price caps, should find out how we can support the very quick start of exploitation of these gas fields and how we can support constructing new pipelines.”

EU leaders are discussing the idea of a price cap on imported gas, including Russian gas, with at least 15 countries from the 27-nation bloc pushing for such a price limit to curb energy prices and record consumer inflation.

Landlocked and heavily dependent on Russian crude deliveries via pipeline, Hungary secured an exemption in June when the rest of the EU agreed to stop buying Russian oil from December.

Cyprus has said it expects natural gas from its shores to become commercially available by 2027, with Europe’s energy crisis putting a renewed focus on expediting the development of reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.

The EU member state reported its first gas find in 2011 and larger ones since then, but none has been extracted.