Hungary aims to negotiate an increase in the volume of natural gas delivered to Hungary under its long-term gas contract with Russia, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said after meeting President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday.
President Putin said the gas contract in force until 2036 ensured Hungary’s long-term stability.
Under the contract, Hungary can also purchase gas well below the market price, Putin added.
Orban called the contract “very important”, adding that Hungary aimed to negotiate an increase of the gas volume therein.
The prime minister also thanked Putin for Russia’s deliveries of coronavirus vaccines, noting that some 900,000 Hungarians were inoculated with Sputnik V.
Orbán said that despite the current “difficult times”, 2021 had been the most successful year in bilateral cooperation with Russia. The coronavirus pandemic and energy supplies, he added, had been the biggest challenges.
Orbán noted that he had met with Putin twelve times during the past thirteen years. “The two of us have had the longest history in EU-Russia ties,” he added.
Regarding Ukraine, Orbán said his visit to Moscow was “also a peace mission”.
The European Union is “ready for a reasonable agreement … not a single EU leader wants war,” he said.
Putin noted that Moscow has sent its proposals concerning international security to NATO and the US.
Concerning the upcoming election in Hungary, Orbán and Putin expressed their readiness to pursue cooperation in the long run. Orbán said:
“I’d like to win, and I’ve have a firm hope that we’ll be cooperating for years to come.”
Putin said they had achieved much together “for the benefit of the people”, adding he hoped that their joint efforts would continue.
Both Orbán and Putin praised bilateral business cooperation.
Orbán said cooperation related to the Paks nuclear power plant was “progressing fantastically”, and the Hungarian investments, which were also approved by the Russian government, had taken place, adding that he would put forward proposals to further develop cooperation in this area.
Putin noted that bilateral trade turnover increased by 30 percent in the first 11 months of last year, adding that besides nuclear energy, major projects in engineering were also taking place between the two countries.