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Hungary and Russia have agreed to conclude a long-term agreement on the delivery of natural gas from Russia to Hungary, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday, after talks with Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller.

“We intend to enter into a 15-year contract, with flexible pricing,” Szijjártó said on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The agreement would ensure long-term gas supply security, Szijjártó said, noting that the current deal expires at the end of September. Prices, however, are yet to be negotiated, he said.

“What I can say is that the agreements I have brokered before with the head of Gazprom have all been fulfilled completely,” Szijjártó said. “So there’s no need for us to have any doubts this time, either.”

The minister said construction on a gas pipeline linking the Hungary-Serbia border to Hungary’s gas pipeline network would be completed by Oct. 1, enabling the delivery of large quantities of gas to Hungary. Serbia has completed its part of the project, he said, adding that it was now up to energy companies to discuss the practical aspects.

Szijjártó said he had also discussed the potential acceleration of the upgrade of Hungary’s nuclear power plant in Paks with Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachev. He said everything was set for the next phase of construction on the new blocks to begin by the end of September, noting that this was also the deadline for Hungary’s National Atomic Energy Authority (OAH) to issue the implementation permit for the project.

Szijjártó said the first concrete elements of the new blocks could be put in place at some point next year. Given that Rosatom has just finished a project in Belarus, it can focus all its capacities in the region on Hungary, he added.

The transformer station that will supply power for the construction works at the power plant is already operational, and soon the general contractor’s office building will also open, he said.

Fidesz to Give Hungary’s Atomic Energy Sector Independence from Forthcoming Gov'ts
Fidesz to Give Hungary’s Atomic Energy Sector Independence from Forthcoming Gov'ts

The issue of the Paks upgrade, the Russian loan, and, to a larger extent, the use of nuclear energy in Hungary, are topics which the opposition has promised to revise if it wins the next election.Continue reading

“Meanwhile, we’re in talks with the countries in the region on exporting electricity produced by the new blocks,” Szijjártó said. “Hungary’s opportunity to increase its electricity exports will come as a major boost, in addition to meeting its climate-related targets by 2030 and 2050, respectively.”

featured image: Péter Szijjártó (l) with Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller; via Facebook