Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Hungary is planning to buy more natural gas from Russia to secure its energy supply.
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó visited Russia on Thursday to discuss the matter with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, according to Reuters reporting.
Speaking after the meeting with Szijjártó, Lavrov noted that Russia will consider Hungary’s request to buy more gas.
Hungary opposes an EU embargo on Russian gas and has maintained relations with Moscow since the start of the war in Ukraine, which increased friction between Hungary and some of its EU counterparts.
Speaking at a press conference, Szijjártó pointed out that Hungary needs additional 700 million cubic metres of natural gas to secure its energy supply.
“Looking at the current market situation, like it or not… without Russian sources it would not be possible to buy an additional 700 million cubic meters of gas,” he stressed and added that negotiations with Russia are underway.
Szijjártó pointed out that natural gas storages in Hungary have enough gas to cover roughly 27% of the country’s annual needs and noted “my goal is to complete the talks as soon as possible.”
He reminded that Hungary wants a ceasefire in Ukraine and resumption of peace talks between Moscow and Kiev.
The Russian government pointed out in a statement that, besides Lavrov, Szijjártó attended meetings with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov and Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
“Today the political situation is rather complicated, but we appreciate the position of the Hungarian government, which consistently defends its national interests,” Novak said according to the statement.
He added that Russia is “determined to further develop our relations, including in the energy sector.”
According to a 15-year agreement with Russian energy company Gazprom inked last year, Hungary receives 4.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas from the company, of which 3.5 billion via Bulgaria and Serbia, and 1 billion via Austria.Speaking on Monday, Szijjártó noted that Hungary is negotiating with Russia to redirect all of its gas deliveries to the pipeline that supplies the country via Bulgaria and Serbia.