Hungary has not been officially notified that it will have to pay in rubles for any future natural gas coming from Russia, the government informed RTL News. The channel approached the Cabinet after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a few days ago that he would be requiring countries “unfriendly” to Russia to pay for Russian gas in rubles.
Following the announcement by the Russian President, managers of local gas companies and leaders of several European member states, including Germany and Poland, flatly rejected any modifications to their energy contracts with Russia.
Just six months ago, representatives of Hungary’s MVM Group and Russia’s Gazprom signed a contract at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to supply Russian gas to Hungary for 15 years.
United for Hungary’s energy expert, Attila Holoda, told the station that Putin’s decree was undoubtedly good for Russia, as it will strengthen the ruble and increase the price of gas in the short term. But he doubted that the country would be able to unilaterally amend its contracts.
Gazprom will presumably seek out its partners and say that it wants to implement a change, and let its partners react to this. It is set everywhere in the contract how long they have to react and in what way. I don’t think that this is a long-term or a smart solution.
-said Attila Holoda.
In response to RTL’s inquiry on the matter, the government stated:
Hungary has not received any official notification from the contracting party.