Putin in Budapest – Putin: Russia reliable partner, Minsk agreement enforceable
Budapest, February 17 (MTI) – Russia is a reliable partner for Europe and Hungary in terms of gas and oil supplies, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Budapest on Tuesday. Putin said that he expected the Minsk agreement on settling the crisis in eastern Ukraine was enforceable. He said it was important that the leaders in Kiev and the separatists should also agree on implementing far-reaching constitutional reform.
Every issue brought up by the Hungarian party has been resolved, Putin told a joint conference with Prime Minister Viktor Orban following talks in Parliament.
Gazprom is ready to reschedule untapped gas to the upcoming period and Hungary need not pay for untapped volume, he said.
Gazprom has no objections to increasing the volume of gas in storage, he added.
Putin said that far from abandoning the plan to construct the South Stream pipeline, Russia had been prevented from implementing the project.
The Russian president said that South Stream Hungary, the Russian-Hungarian joint venture set up to construct the Hungarian section of the pipeline, could be utilised during the extension of the Turkish Stream to Hungary.
Russia is prepared to open up a possibility for supplying natural gas via Turkey to Europe and, if logistically possible, through Bulgaria, too, Putin said. Moscow does not want to block anyone’s access to Russian gas, he said, adding that Russia certainly would not renounce cooperation with Turkey.
Putin said that fighting had abated considerably in the crisis area since the signing of the Minsk ceasefire agreement. Commenting on continued fighting in Debaltseve, he said these events “could be explained and were foreseeable” because the separatists had surrounded the Ukrainian units stationed there before the agreement was signed. He expressed hope that Kiev would not hinder the surrender of Ukrainian soldiers stuck there.
Replying to a question, Putin said Moscow had got information that Ukraine had received weapons from abroad.