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Szijjarto: Gazprom will continue fulfilling gas supplies obligations

Russian President Vladimir Putin and the director of Gazprom have confirmed that the company will continue fulfilling its contracted gas supplies obligations in the direction of Hungary despite increased transit fees by Bulgaria, the foreign minister said on Tuesday.

The ministry cited Peter Szijjarto as saying in Beijing following Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s meeting with Putin that the situation in Ukraine was an important topic on the agenda of talks. Hungary faces the negative consequences of the war on a daily basis, in the form of the migrant crisis, high inflation and soaring energy prices caused by the policy of sanctions, while ethnic Hungarians are among those that die in the fights, he added.

“The prime minister talked about the possibility of peace at today’s talks, as well, and stood up for peace,” Szijjarto said. “The answer we received and the message of the entire meeting, all that was said there, offer no reason for too much positive hope,” he added.

The other focal point of the talks was energy cooperation between the two countries because Hungary must maintain relations based on common sense and mutual respect in order to guarantee the security of supplies, he said.

“Whether we like it or not, Hungary’s energy security cannot be guaranteed without Hungarian-Russian cooperation,” he said. “The question of energy supplies is not a political or an ideological question,” the foreign minister added.

“Concerning energy cooperation, a review of the situation established that the country’s energy supplies are secure and Hungarian-Russian cooperation serves this,” he said.

Commenting on Bulgaria’s increasing the transit fees on Russian gas in a measure introduced without preliminary warning, he said the decision was unfriendly towards Hungary and Serbia because it threatened the security of energy supplies. The measures go against European solidarity and may violate community rules on the introduction of duties and the free movement of goods, he added.

Szijjarto said that he had held several talks with Serbian deputy Prime Minister Sinisa Mali about the issue and agreed to coordinate steps in the future.

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