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Hungary seeks to renegotiate Russian gas contract from 2012

Russia wants to negotiate an extension of its long-term contract to deliver gas to Hungary only in 2014, the year the contract expires, while the Hungarian government would like to start negotiations on the extension already in 2012, half-way through the current government's term, National Development Minister Tamas Fellegi said in a written response to a question by an MP.

Russia wants to negotiate an extension of its long-term contract to deliver gas to Hungary only in 2014, the year the contract expires, while the Hungarian government would like to start negotiations on the extension already in 2012, half-way through the current government's term, National Development Minister Tamas Fellegi said in a written response to a question by an MP.

In the question, Lajos Olah, a member of the Opposition, asked the minister if he had negotiated the contract with his Russian counterparts.

In his answer, posted on the website of Parliament, Fellegi said he had negotiated with the Russians several times since being named government commissioner in charge of Hungarian-Russian economic relations. "The Russian side's categorical stand is that they do not want to negotiate on questions of price, and they are only prepared to put on the agenda talks on the extension of the contract which runs out at the end of 2014 in the year it expires," he said.

The Hungarian stand on the matter is to start negotiations in the middle of the current government's term, Fellegi said. The contract is not with the state of Hungary, but with German-owned E.ON, thus the utilities company's interests must also be taken into consideration, he added. The government believes the conditions of the supply agreement should be established in a bilateral agreement between the states of Hungary and Russia, in addition to the inter-company contract, Fellegi said. (Econews)