Hungary facing dilemma over gas imports, says Hungarian FM
Hungary and central Europe as a whole find themselves facing a dilemma regarding their gas supplies, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told reporters on Thursday.
Hungary has three options for importing natural gas, Szijjártó said. It can get its gas via Ukraine from Russia, through Austria from mostly Russian sources or through Slovakia, but Hungary has no access to gas from this route, he said.
At the same time, the capacities of the German-Czech and Czech-Slovak gas interconnectors are almost fully tied down by Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom until 2039, so
Russian gas remains the only option through those routes, too,
The involvement of Croatia and Romania would resolve the situation, but these countries “have imposed a blockade on Hungary”, Szijjártó said.
“So at this point diversification sounds good … but since neither the United States nor the European Union could carry out any kind of infrastructural developments over the past years, …
so that Hungary’s gas needs are at least in part supplied by Russia, the minister said.
Hungary’s interest lies in securing a gas delivery agreement with Russia beyond 2021 that includes a more favourable purchase price than the existing one, Szijjártó said, arguing that global gas prices are falling.
Commenting on the suggestion that it would be cheaper for Hungary to import gas at market price — even from Russian sources — Szijjártó said Hungary and Russia had only begun talks on extending their gas supply agreement, so it would be too early to judge the deal.