Wire service MTI reports that Hungarian green party LMP (Politics can be Different) has criticized the Orbán government’s plans to link Hungary into Russian energy giant Gazprom’s southern natural gas pipeline as a move that will “cement” Hungary’s dependence on Russian energy.
LMP board member Péter Ungár criticized the agreement signed last month between Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and Gazprom’s CEO to build the Hungarian section of the Russian company’s Turkish Stream pipeline by the end of 2019.
Ungár said LMP had filed a public data request with the foreign ministry for a copy of the agreement that Szijjártó signed, but was told that the two sides had only signed a “feasibility plan”, not an actual contract.
Describing the deal, the Hungarian Foreign Minister had claimed that
This will improve Hungary’s energy security a great deal, so it is in our strategic interest for this cooperation to start.
And since the deal was signed, Szijjártó has defended the proposed expansion of cooperation with Gazprom by arguing that all of Europe purchased more gas from the Russian Gazprom last year than at any time before; he also claimed that Germany, too, concluded gas supply agreements with Moscow in magnitudes greater than ever before.
In his statement, LMP’s Ungár said that he intends to release the documents pertaining to this agreement to the public, adding that he would sue the ministry if it did not release it. He criticized Hungary’s reliance on Russian gas imports, and argued that the deal contradicted the government’s earlier promises to diversify Hungary’s gas supplies.
In addition, Ungár made mention of the fact that the Hungarian government has agreed to upgrade the country’s sole nuclear power plant in Paks with a loan from Russia, while costs for the upgrade itself have doubled since planning began.
Via MTI and Hungary Matters
Images via Bloomberg and Gazprom