Budapest/Brussels, December 2 (MTI) – Russia’s dropping the South Stream gas pipeline project has proven that the Hungarian government had “backed the wrong horse” in its foreign policy, the co-leader of green LMP told a press conference on Tuesday.
Bernadett Szel criticised the government for “making a unilateral commitment to Russia despite any reasonable considerations”. She insisted that Hungary’s foreign policy has failed, and argued that Norway’s gas is cheaper in Europe than gas imported from Russia, still, Hungary had manoeuvred itself in an “awkward diplomatic situation” with the former country.
Szel also suggested that the situation could impact Hungary’s plans to upgrade the Paks nuclear plant with Russian assistance, and argued that Russia clearly has financing problems and would “quickly back out of any scheme”.
The opposition Together party also urged the government to admit “the failure of its Eastern Opening policy” and called for a redrafting of its energy policies.
The Liberal Party said that since Putin “arbitrarily abrogates contracts and agreements” it was worth considering the agreement Hungary signed with Russia on the upgrade of the Paks nuclear plant.
Opposition Socialist MEP Tibor Szanyi said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Monday announcement of cancelling the planned South Stream gas pipeline was a “merciless slap in the face” for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Szanyi told a press conference in Brussels that the announcement meant the failure of a targeted project in Orban’s policy for the east. He added that despite Orban being “the last European ally of Putin’s autocracy”, now all the energetic preparations by Orban’s government have abruptly ended “by a snap”.
Putin announced on Monday that his country had decided not to start construction of the South Stream pipeline strongly opposed by the European Union. However, the European Commission on Tuesday said it wanted to carry on with talks on the pipeline.