“Hungary is not even willing to hold talks on a possible gas embargo,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó prior to a meeting of EU energy ministers in Luxembourg. The Minister feels that such a step would lead to “the inability of the economy and the country to operate.”
Szijjártó added that Hungary does not have a problem with the EU wanting to locate new sources for its gas, but it should happen on a voluntary basis and without forcing Member States to take part.
The Foreign Minister added that serious technical problems are currently being reported on natural gas transportation routes from Russia to Western Europe. Hungary expects the European Commission to investigate whether there is indeed an interruption due to necessary equipment for operating the pipeline system not having returned from Canada after having been sent there for maintenance. If this is the case, Hungary expects measures to be taken to avoid a crisis in the supply of gas.
Szijjártó also reiterated that the sanctions hurt Europe more than Russia, as the restrictions “have caused a very high increase in prices in the European energy market. As a second step, a very serious problem with quantity then arose. Then a vicious circle began, and the challenges with quantity have meant another increase in prices.” [HVG]
The foreign minister attempts to smoke-screen the fact that he (as functioning energy minister) has done absolutely nothing to relieve Hungary’s gas and oil dependency on Russian sources.
Hungarian media will call it a victory. Meanwhile, Hungarian consumers pay the bills.
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