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On visit, Putin promises cheap gas for Hungary

Visits

Russia's President Vladimir Putin promised to provide cheap energy for Hungary over the long term yesterday in a joint press conference after his meeting with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest. 

"Russia is proud to be able to be a reliable gas source for Europe" Putin said, adding that though the South Stream project has been scrapped, there still are possibilities to pipe gas through Turkey. The President also offered a reminder that Russia provides 80% of the loan Hungary uses for building the expansion to the country's sole nuclear plant located in Paks.

"Hungary needs Russia, it is important that Russia stays open for Hungarian exports and it is important for us to be able to buy cheap gas" Orbán was cited as saying by Hungarian online daily Origo. Orbán said that the ties between the two countries are based on "mutual respect", and he made a commitment to maintain "good relations" with Russia. He further added that good relations with Russia is also the interest of the European Union, therefore ties between the two powers need to be sorted out soon through negotiations.

The visit, which closed many of the major arteries in Budapest, was one of the few meetings Putin has had with an EU leader since the Ukraine crisis began and Europe began imposing sanctions on Russia.

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