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Szijjártó: Russia secures gas for 3-5 years for Hungary

Energy Trade

kormany.hu/Gergely Botár

According to the agreement signed yesterday by Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the amount of gas Hungary can request from Russia will be enough to supply the country for a period of 3-5 years, Hungary’s foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on state-owned television late yesterday.

The foreign minister noted that Hungary has still not consumed 22 billion cubic meters of gas as it is required to, based on a contract, which expires at the end of this year. Szijjártó said relevant specialists will work out a price formula for the gas that is reasonable for both countries, adding that the agreement on prices must take into account trends in the global market.

The minister referred to the gas delivery agreement as an “independent issue” insisting that it is not connected to any other issues between the two countries. He added that it is in Hungary's best interest that Gazprom put as much gas as possible in the 7 billion-cubic-meter capacity stores in the country to raise revenue and boost energy security. Gazprom stored 700 million cubic meters of gas in Hungary last year, and there is political interest in increasing that amount, according to Szijjártó.

Following the suggestion of EU’s top energy official Maros Sefcovic that Hungary should include the European Commission in negotiations regarding Hungary’s long-term gas contract with Russia, the foreign minister said that the EU “should pay as much attention to compliance with infrastructure regulations as it does to whether certain future contracts are in accordance with EU rules”, Hungarian news agency MTI reported. Szijjártó noted that Hungary may not buy gas from Romania or Croatia because neither has completed the necessary infrastructure investments and are therefore in violation of EU rules.

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