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Hungary To Restart Gas Export To Ukraine

By Tamás Székely // 2014.11.20.

Hungary is prepared to restart gas flows to Ukraine next month and it aims to start building its stretch of the Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline next year, a senior government official told Reuters. “Nabucco will not be built and after nearly 10 years of hesitation, and especially in light of the Ukraine situation, we need to act. This is a necessity,” András Aradszki, energy affairs state secretary said in the interview. “Everybody singles out Hungary, but we forget that since 2013 Croatia has failed to do the investments enabling the flow of gas from Croatia towards Hungary. The same applies to Romania”, he added.

“The Nord Stream pipeline was built to eliminate the risk from Belarus. This is the same situation,” Aradszki said. “We have had Russian gas coming in with the same amount, so this will only be a different route.” Countries that support South Stream – Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Austria – have asked the European Commission to discuss with Moscow how the project can bebrought in line with EU regulations, he told Reuters. But he said the talks fell through.

In September, Hungary stopped gas shipments to Ukraine that were helping Kiev’s Western-backed government survive a Russian energy blockade. Budapest said it had done this to fill its own storage facilities. Aradszki insisted that GAZPROM had not pressured Hungary to halt the gas shipments to Ukraine. Hungary could technically resume shipments to Ukraine from December if Ukraine asks, he added. “Restarting shipments to Ukraine in December will have no technical obstacles if Russian shipments are completed,” he said.

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