Hungary ignores EU sanctions to buy additional supplies of gas from Russia

Hungary announced, on Thursday, July 28, 2022, that the country has reached a deal with Russia to purchase nearly 700 million cubic meters of gas after the European nation catalysed its near-total exemption from the EU’s Russian trade embargo and the package of sanctions.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Russian president Vladimir Putin’s Hungarian ally, spoke to the radio station Kossuth. He said they would continue receiving the gas shipments arriving in Budapest without disruptions.

The Hungarian prime minister had labelled the European Union energy ministers’ proposal for reducing gas consumption as challenging to enforce or justify.

The Hungarian Prime Minister said that they were still negotiating with the Russians to get an additional 700 million cubic meters of gas, adding that the concerned parties would reach an agreement in the summer of 2022,

In a separate statement to Moscow’s state-affiliated Tass, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Economic Relations of Hungary, Péter Szijjarto, notified that the Hungarian government had already kick-started a new negotiation on the imports of gas from the Russian Federation.

He insisted that the government could not force the Hungarian people to pay the price of this war. He said that this is why Hungary never approved oil or natural gas sanctions against Russia.

Earlier, Szijjarto had stated that, while Hungary supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, it will not agree to EU-led sanctions that entirely overlook the interests of Hungarians.

As Hungary prepares to purchase an additional 700 million cubic meters of gas from Russia, it restates the need to ensure its energy security in light of the upcoming harsh winters in Europe.

Orban, a dependable ally of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, had also advised European Union to rethink its decision to halt Russian gas imports, emphasising that such a move would “destroy the economy of the European Union.” The Hungarian Prime Minister had spent nearly 26 days blocking the EU’s proposed ban before it was formally approved and had later asked to be granted an exemption from the Russian oil ban.

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