Orbán to travel to Moscow in January

Int’l Relations

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will travel to Moscow at the end of January and energy matters are likely to be high on the agenda, daily Népszabadság said on Friday.

Orbán will talk to his counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, but could also meet with President Vladimir Putin, the paper said, citing unnamed sources.

State secretary for foreign affairs and external trade, Péter Szijjártó, prepared the way for the official visit on a trip to Moscow late in December, the paper said.

While in Moscow, Szijjártó met with Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller to discuss the South Stream pipeline in the context of a review of ongoing energy investments in Europe.

The Hungarian stretch of the pipeline will also probably be on Orbán's agenda during his visit to Moscow, the paper said. The government gave the construction of the stretch priority status last October.

The South Stream pipeline will deliver Russian gas to Europe via the Black Sea, bypassing Ukraine, whose disputes with Moscow have interrupted gas deliveries to Europe several times in recent years,

The extension of Hungary's contract for Russian gas deliveries, which expires in 2015, as well as the expansion of Hungary's only nuclear power plant could also be discussed, the paper said.

Szijjártó told MTI on Friday that the piece on Orbán's planned visit to Moscow dealt with Hungarian-Russian relations in an inaccurate and superficial manner.

"We will give out information on the timetable for further high-level talks between the two countries at an appropriate interval of time beforehand," he added.

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