Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary will continue cooperation with Russia in areas not falling under EU sanctions, as that is in the national interest, especially in energy security.
After meeting Russia’s health minister Mikhail Murashko in Budapest on Wednesday, Minister Szijjártó said Russia remains a reliable partner in the delivery of fossil fuels, without which “it would be physically impossible” to fulfil demand in Hungary. Under a long-term bilateral contract, Russia has delivered 2.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas this year. “It is partially thanks to those deliveries that Hungary already has 42% of its annual consumption in reserves, compared with the 23% EU average.” Crude deliveries through the Druzhba pipeline are also uninterrupted, and have reached 2.2 bn cubic metres, he said. “I would like to state loud and clear that Hungary has a vested interest in maintaining its decades-long energy cooperation with Russia.” At the same time, Hungary is looking to diversify its resources, Szijjártó said. The government also continues to support companies operating in Russia outside of the sectors hit by EU sanctions, “as do our Western competitors,” he said. Those sectors include banking, pharmaceuticals and health care, agriculture, the food industry and construction, he added.