MOSCOW, 12 Oct — PRIME. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó after talks with Gazprom head Alexei Miller said that Budapest needs further cooperation with the company as a reliable supplier of natural gas in the context of a long-term energy crisis in Europe.
“The purpose of my talks today with the head of Gazprom, Alexei Miller, was to make sure that Gazprom is interested in cooperation with Hungary in the long term… The current energy crisis in Europe is not short-term, but long-term. Therefore, we need Gazprom to remain a reliable supplier of natural gas that we could count on,” he said.
Szijjarto said Miller also assured him that the Dutch operator’s revocation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline’s license would not jeopardize the flow of gas.
“(Head of Gazprom) Alexey Miller assured and reassured me that the process of the Dutch department would not jeopardize the operation of the Turkish Stream,” the Hungarian minister said.
The gas pipeline operator, South Stream Transport BV, registered in the Netherlands, said earlier that new EU sanctions on September 18 led to the early revocation of the company’s export license. However, the company assured that supplies through the pipeline would not be affected, and said that they had already applied for the renewal of the license, since it is important for Europe’s energy security.
Szijjarto also said that due to problems on the northern route, Budapest received only 30% of the initial volume of gas from the Russian Federation through Austria, according to an agreement with Gazprom, all this volume is redirected to the southern route through the Turkish Stream.
“Based on a long-term agreement (with Gazprom), we bought a smaller amount of gas from Russia along the route through Austria, which, due to problems on the northern gas pipelines, is now only 30% operational. Today we agreed that the initial volume of gas entering Hungary from the Russian Federation through the northern direction, redirect to the southern direction,” the minister said.
He stressed that the Turkish Stream remains the only reliable gas pipeline for Hungary, which supplies 100% of the planned volumes, and that Hungary welcomes the decision of the Russian Federation to redirect gas supplies to Europe from the northern route to the south, as it enhances the security of Budapest’s energy supply.
Finally, Szijjártó said that on October 13, the head of Gazpromexport would sign a document granting Budapest a deferment in gas payments.
“Tomorrow, the general director of Gazpromexport will sign an agreement on granting a deferral of payment (for gas from the Russian Federation for Hungary), and then the payment process will become more favorable for us,” the diplomat said.
The speech was broadcast on social networks.
The Hungarian company MVM said earlier that it had concluded an agreement with Gazprom to defer payment for gas due to sharp fluctuations in prices for the upcoming winter period.
In July, a week after the Hungarian government introduced a state of emergency in the energy sector, the Hungarian Foreign Minister visited Moscow, where he held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The issue of supplying additional volumes of Russian gas to the Hungarian market was discussed. In mid-August, Gazprom began delivering gas in excess of the established contracts. Later, Szijjarto announced that an agreement had been signed with Gazprom, according to which, from September 1, an additional 5.8 million cubic meters of gas would be supplied to the country daily through the Turkish Stream and Serbia.