After its current agreement on delivery of natural gas runs out, Hungary will enter into a long-term agreement with Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom starting from 2021, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjárto told MTI on Wednesday in Moscow.
As part of the agreement, Gazprom is storing 900 million cubic meters of natural gas in Hungary’s storage facilities, Szijjárto said. the Foreign Minister added that
The construction of the southern gas corridor is also clearly progressing according to plan…If we manage to keep to schedule, 6 billion cubic meters of gas will arrive at Hungary’s southern borders by the end of 2019.
These developments, together with the upgrade of the Paks nuclear plant by Russian state-owned company Rosatom, are “significant steps forward” in ensuring the country’s energy security, Szijjárto said.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion at the Russian Energy Week, Szijjárto said that the upgrade of the nuclear plant with two new reactor blocks went beyond building the facility itself and amounted to a comprehensive economic development plan. The project is “the best investment” for Hungary, he said, “with an optimum financing structure in cooperation with the best player in the nuclear energy sector“.
Speaking at an Energy Week event, Szijjártó said if people looked at the situation rationally, then it’s clear sanctions are failing to hurt Russia.
The Foreign Minister’s comments, as well as the announcement of closer energy cooperation with Russia, comes as international observers and Hungarian opposition parties continue to voice concern over the Orbán government’s increasingly close relationship with Vladimir Putin’s autocratic regime. This was reflected most prominently in Putin’s visit to Budapest in August, the second such visit by the Russian leader this year, which was met by criticism and protest.
During his two-day visit to the Russian capital, Szijjárto held talks with Gazprom head Alexey Miller, energy minister Alexander Novak and Alexey Likhachev, head of Rosatom.
via: english.mti.hu; cnbc.com
photos: kormany.hu; competitionpolicyinternational.com; cnbc.com