Hungary negotiates extra gas supply from Russia
Hungary has negotiated additional gas supplies from Russia starting this month, as a number of other EU member states are contending with reduced shipments or a complete cut-off in deliveries.
Russia's Gazprom started delivering gas to Hungary at "above the already contracted quantities" on August 12, the Hungarian foreign ministry said in a statement the following day. "It is the duty of the Hungarian government to ensure the country's safe supply of natural gas and we are living up to it," ministry official Tamas Menczer said in a post on social media.
Under the agreement, which was reached following a surprise visit to Moscow by Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto last month, Hungary will receive an extra 2.6mn m3/day of gas from Russia until the end of this month, the ministry said. The two sides are currently negotiating additional supplies for September.
Hungary struck a new long-term gas supply deal with Gazprom at the end of September last year, securing 4.5bn m3 of annual shipments over a 15-year period.
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has sought to protect his warm relationship with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, despite Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. Orban's government has opposed sanctions against Russian energy, and pushed back against the EU's call for a 15% voluntary cut in gas consumption across the bloc until the end of the next heating season in 2023.
Hungary declared an "energy emergency" in the middle of last month, announcing plans to remove the cap on residential electricity and gas prices when consumption exceeds the household average. A cornerstone of Orban's policy over the years has been ensuring cheap energy supply to the populace, which has helped buttress his support in elections.