PM: Hungary to avoid ’long-term commitments’ in gas contract talks

World

A few days before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Budapest to discuss gas deliveries, among many other topics, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said today in his regular fortnightly interview on state-owned Kossuth radio, that Hungary should not make "long-term commitments" when negotiating its gas contract with Russia.

According to Orbán, falling oil prices have made gas prices “unpredictable”, which the Prime Minister noted as a complex issue that could affect his upcoming talks with Putin regarding the new gas contract Hungary is preparing to sign with Russia before its pending expiry. “Nobody can say what a reasonable gas price will be for the upcoming 2-3 years,” Orbán said.

The Prime Minister did not comment further on the upcoming negotiations, however, the current long-term contract that his government "inherited" comes with "plenty of disadvantages".

Ukraine crisis

The Prime Minister believes that peace could be made between Russia and Ukraine, but the situation is “fragile”, Orbán said talking about the Ukraine crisis prior to his meeting with Ukraine’s President Viktor Porosenko today.

He said that, of course, the two would discuss Hungarian minorities in Ukraine, but the main agenda of their meeting is to address the fact that “Ukraine is currently fighting for its life”. Orbán noted that the Hungarian government would always stand by the 200,000 Hungarians in Ukraine, yet it “must be acknowledged that the Ukraine is at war”.

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