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25 Mar, 2024 14:52

EU state doesn’t need Ukraine to get Russian gas – FM

Hungary can increase imports through the TurkStream pipeline, Peter Szijjarto has said
EU state doesn’t need Ukraine to get Russian gas – FM

Hungary no longer needs Ukrainian infrastructure for the supply of Russian natural gas thanks to the TurkStream pipeline, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday.

Budapest is among several EU members that continue to greatly rely on Russian gas deliveries, despite the sharp drop in supplies to the bloc due to sanctions on Moscow and the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines.

The transit line through Ukraine and the European arm of TurkStream are the only two remaining conduits for piped Russian gas to reach central and southern Europe. Kiev has said its current transit agreement with Russian energy giant Gazprom will not be prolonged when it expires at the end of the year.

“This is not important for us, given that gas supplies to Hungary are now transmitted via the TurkStream [pipeline],” Hungarian diplomat Szijjarto told journalists. “I think it was an excellent decision on our part to build the TurkStream together with Serbia, Türkiye, and Bulgaria. Now it ensures the security of our gas supplies.”

“We do not need transit through Ukraine. Thus, Ukraine’s decision on the transit of Russian gas will not have any impact on us,” the minister added.

Szijjarto expressed confidence that an increase in Russian gas supplies through the TurkStream pipeline is possible.

“The annual incoming capacity of TurkStream in Hungary is 8.5 billion cubic meters, and last year we received 5.6 billion cubic meters, so there is still free capacity to increase the volumes. It’s not a problem,” the minister stressed.

He noted that Hungary currently receives enough gas, but said if Budapest needs additional supplies, it will ask Gazprom to boost deliveries.

Hungary imported 4.8 billion cubic meters of Russian gas via the TurkStream pipeline in 2022 alone.