UPDATE - Fellegi discusses South Stream with Gazprom heads

Energy Trade

National Development Minister Tamás Fellegi discussed the South Stream gas pipeline with the heads of Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom in Moscow on Thursday, the National Development Ministry said on Friday.

Fellegi met with Gazprom chairman Alexey Miller and deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev.

The sides confirmed their commitment to the start of construction, in the near future, of the stretch of the pipeline to be built in Hungary, the ministry said. They also agreed to start talks on further forms of cooperation related to the pipeline with the involvement of Hungarian companies, it added.

Fellegi expressed Hungary's support, as a European Union member, for the Nabucco pipeline at the talks, the ministry said. He stressed that Hungary's government has, from the beginning, been committed to diversifying its gas supply and supports all possibilities to increase the security of its energy supply.

The South Stream pipeline will run from Russia under the Black Sea to Bulgaria, bypassing Ukraine, whose rows with Moscow have interrupted gas deliveries to Europe several times in recent years.

In 2010, Gazprom and the Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) established a project company to build the stretch of the South Stream pipeline that passes through Hungary.

The Nabucco pipeline will bring gas from Central Asia to Europe, reducing the region's energy dependency on Russia.

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