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Hungary ready to join negotiations on Russian gas transit to Europe via Turkey — FM

Hungary has been looking for opportunities to deliver Russian gas to the country since the South Stream project cancellation

ANKARA, January 27 /TASS/ Hungary has expressed its willingness to begin negotiations with Turkey on participation in Russian gas delivery project to Europe via Turkey, said Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday during his visit to Turkey.

"Since the South Stream project cancellation we have been looking for other opportunities. Russia plans to deliver gas which would have gone by the South Stream through Turkey. With that, we would like to begin negotiations as soon as possible," Szijjarto said. He added that he is waiting for Turkey to make the decision to receive gas from Russia through the new pipeline, so that his country could then begin negotiations on how to deliver gas to Central Europe.

"There are alternatives on how to deliver gas to Hungary, one of them is through Turkey, through Greece, Macedonia and Serbia," the minister explained.

Turkey was pleased to receive Russia's offer to stretch the gas pipeline under the Black Sea to Turkey.

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke about the potential cooperation with Russia at a working dinner during the Davos Economic Forum last week.

"If Turkey receives this type of offer, it assesses it. We were very pleased to see this Russian initiative. We haven't accepted the offer yet, but we haven't said 'no' either. We first have to look into how real this project is and how appropriate it is and what impact it will have. After that, we will make a decision,"said Davutoglu.

Davutoglu added that no one has the right to criticize Turkey for expressing an interest in the project.