Hungarian PM supports Polish energy union plan

Hungarian PM supports Polish energy union plan

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban declared his support for Polish plans for a European energy union after meeting with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Monday. Tusk believes Polish-Hungarian cooperation could help resolve the Ukrainian crisis. 

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban (L) and polish PM Donald Tusk ® Photo: Rafal Guz/PAp/EPA

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban (L) and polish PM Donald Tusk ® Photo: Rafal Guz/PAp/EPA

The topics discussed by the two prime ministers in Warsaw included energy security and Poland’s idea for an energy union, the situation in Ukraine, the future of bilateral relations and cooperation within the Visegrad Group, PM Tusk informed journalists at a joint press conference.

According to Orban, the Polish plan for an energy union is „a great initiative.” „We support this initiative. I think it will be a major topic of the Visegrad Group’s next meeting,” he said.

„Every proposal aimed at overcoming the energy monopoly can count on our support,” the Hungarian PM added.

PM Tusk expressed satisfaction at the Hungarian PM’s stance in support of the energy union. „The two objectives we are pursuing, namely energy diversification and independence for our countries and the whole European Union, are our shared objectives,” the Polish PM said.

He added that he and Orban had identical views on the rationality of measures aimed at increasing the EU’s energy independence. „After consultations with European leaders it turned out that what initially seemed (…) too ambitious (…), namely joint purchases to reduce prices, especially for gas, might not be so hard,” Tusk said.

According to Poland’s prime minister, it is important to countries like Hungary and Poland for the European Commission to draw up realistic plans as early as June to increase Europe’s energy independence.

„We are talking about diversification of sources, diversification of delivery directions, diversification of energy carriers, so that no monopolist, whether Russian or any other, can impose unfavourable prices, because the competitive European economy is at stake here,” Tusk said.

Poland sees no problem in Hungary cooperating with Russia on expanding Hungary’s nuclear power plant, according to Tusk. „Our attitude here is neutral (…) It is not a comfortable situation in today’s context, but after all we, too, are large-scale importers of Russian gas, we also cooperate with Russia in terms of energy,” the PM explained.

Energy cooperation with Russia as such is not wrong, Tusk added. On the other hand, it would be wrong to stop working on achieving energy independence, he said.

Polish-Hungarian cooperation should contribute to resolving the Ukrainian crisis, according to Tusk. „We have very similar views on the scenario unfolding across our eastern borders (…) Both countries are interested in a peaceful resolution to the Ukrainian tragedy,” the Polish PM said.

Both Poland and Hungary border on Ukraine, and both countries have their national minorities there, so „we have identical reasons to be worried by what is happening in Ukraine,” Tusk said. „There is no alternative to a peaceful scenario” and Poland and Hungary will work within European structures to achieve it, according to the Polish PM.

The Polish prime minister also praised Hungary’s 12-month leadership of the Visegrad Group thanks to which „the Group maintained its positive, rather unique status in Europe.”

Tusk underlined that Poland and Hungary had „traditionally excellent relations.” Orban remarked that he came to Warsaw to show that his government set great store by the historical friendship between the two countries. „In the coming years Hungary, also in cooperation with Poland, would like to shape the future of Central Europe and the European Union,” the Hungarian PM added. (PAP)

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