Hungary may have the role of an “ice breaker” between Russia and the West, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview to public radio on Friday.
Assessing his recent visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Orbán told Kossuth Rádió that Hungary aimed to maintain good relations with Russia while being a member of NATO and the European Union, which made
“the Hungarian model” completely different from most EU countries.
He said “all this works well when things ice over”, and he described his recent visit as “a peace mission”. Orbán noted that following his meeting with Putin,
the German chancellor and the French president are also scheduled to visit Moscow in the near future.
Orbán added that Russian gas is key to maintaining Hungary’s energy system. The minister of foreign affairs and trade has secured 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year for fifteen years and the possibility of increasing this by another 1 billion. An agreement is almost in hand, he said, adding that negotiations were under way. Hungary is on the way to being the first country in Europe that
reduces its reliance on fossil fuels to no more than 10 percent of the energy mix by 2030,
“Hungary is already a climate champion,” the prime minister said, and a leader in reducing emissions. He noted the role of the expansion of the Paks nuclear plant and the country’s solar power plants in the process of creating energy independence. Orbán said that until this is achieved, Russian gas was key to maintaining the country’s energy needs, noting the foreign minister’s successful efforts