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1 Apr, 2022 11:42

Impossible to replace Russian gas with ‘expensive’ US fuel – Hungary

Viktor Orban says Russian gas is his country’s only option
Impossible to replace Russian gas with ‘expensive’ US fuel – Hungary

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said, on Friday, that there are countries which will not be able to substitute Russian gas with the more expensive American alternative.

Speaking to local radio station Kossuth, ahead of this weekend's parliamentary election, Orban said Russian gas is his country’s only option, as Hungary is landlocked and won’t be able to directly receive liquified gas from the US. 

Orban reiterated that Hungary condemns Russia’s attack against Ukraine, and that he understands the efforts of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as his country is in trouble and he is looking out for Ukrainian interests, but stated that Hungary “can’t help the Ukrainian people by destroying itself.” 

This war is not our war, we can’t win here, but we can lose everything. The question is will we have an economy left by the end of it or not.

He added that it’s impossible for Hungary to “turn off cheap Russian gas and buy expensive American energy instead,” adding that it is not viable for Europe to count on the transportation of sufficient volumes of liquified gas from the US across the ocean, and that there is no alternative to Russian supplies in the near future, for Hungary in particular. 

“It’s not about putting on a sweater at night, or turning down the heating a little or paying a bit more for gas, it’s about the fact that if there is no energy coming from Russia, Hungary will be left with no energy at all,” Orban said.

The prime minister came under fire from Ukraine and its supporters for refusing to take a definitive stance against Russia. President Zelensky called on the Hungarian leader to quit “sitting on the fence” and choose a side in the conflict between Kiev and Moscow.

Unlike other EU capitals, Budapest has so far refused to either send weapons to Ukraine, or allow other countries to move shipments through its territory. 

Earlier, Orban said that Hungary is intent on looking out for its own interests first and will maintain a “Hungarian point of view,” but emphasized that “it must be made clear to the Russians that it is not worth pursuing this war,” warning at the same time that Europe should avoid hurting itself “more than the Russians.”