Orbán shadows Macron on Kazakhstan mission, seeks alternative supplies of oil, gas, metals
Photo: akorda.kz

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán arrived in Kazakhstan on Thursday to strengthen cooperation between the countries in the energy sector. The notice of the visit was published on the website of the President of Kazakhstan.

The day before, French President Emmanuel Macron paid a visit to Astana. Kazakhstan and France signed the joint declaration of intent on cooperation on "strategic minerals".

"Relations between Hungary and Kazakhstan are as good as ever, but the potential, especially in the economy, is still great. We have good prospects," Orbán said at a briefing after talks with Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

The Hungarian prime minister thanked the Kazakh leader for the opportunity given to Hungarian companies to implement joint projects in the oil and gas industry, green energy, as well as for the opportunity to participate in the training of experts in the field of nuclear energy.

Tokayev, in turn, announced the opening by the end of the year of the large gas condensate field "Rozhkovskoye" in western Kazakhstan, where the share of the Hungarian oil and gas company MOL will amount to $192 million.

REFERENCE. The Rozhkovskoye gas-condensate field was opened in 2008, and the contract for the production of gas and condensate from this field was concluded in 2015. Condensate reserves are 12.5 million tons, shale gas reserves are 26.8 billion cubic meters. The volume of investments reached $141.7 million.

In addition, the Hungarian company Globalia plans to build solar power plants in a number of regions of Kazakhstan, investing $150 million.

Equilibrium Capital recently became the first Hungarian company to acquire status as a manager of foreign funds in Astana. It can finance projects in the field of green energy and health care. Equilibrium Capital intends to create three investment funds in Kazakhstan.

Orbán noted that Hungary is a landlocked country, "and oil is supplied there not only from Russia, but also from Kazakhstan."

"So far, the volumes are still small, but the channel is open. And from the point of view of the security of our country, this is a very important step... We thank you that MOL's largest enterprise produces gas. Thank you for involving us in the creation of green energy," said the Hungarian prime minister.

Tokayev and Orbán also "comprehensively discussed ways of implementing joint projects within the framework of the Trans-Caspian corridor", intensifying cooperation in the fields of transport and logistics, atomic energy, water resources management, and mining of rare metals.

Back in July 2022, commenting on the European Union's gas plan, Orbán "joked" about gas and Nazis. Last year, at the end of August, Hungary signed an additional contract with Gazprom.

In April 2023, Hungary agreed on additional supplies of Russian gas and postponement of payments. However, already in May, negotiations on gas with Qatar began.

In August, an agreement on the supply of gas to Hungary was concluded with the Turkish Oil Pipeline Corporation.

In September, Hungary started buying gas from Azerbaijan, although this was not supposed to happen until the fourth quarter of 2023.