Hungarian government is prepared to handle Druzhba pipeline disruptions

The foreign minister said the disruptions would not impact the security of the country’s oil supply.

The foreign minister has said the Hungarian government is prepared to handle disruptions of crude deliveries via the Druzhba pipeline due to Russian missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy grid, adding that the disruptions would not impact the security of the country’s oil supply.

After meeting key energy sector representatives, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the disruptions are caused by damage done to the Ukrainian systems powering the pipeline. He added that repairs on the pipeline are constantly being carried out. Minister Szijjártó said the sanctions imposed by the European Union because of the war were “only aggravating the situation”, arguing that “these obviously unsuccessful measures” had led to an energy crisis and were “hurting Europe more than those they have been imposed on”.

Concerning Thursday’s scheduled meeting of EU energy affairs ministers, Minister Szijjártó, referring to proposed price caps on oil and gas imports, said it appeared that “Brussels has put forward more inadequate proposals that will cause problems for Europe”. He said this plan was a “dangerous and bad idea”, arguing that it would cause further problems in the European energy market. The minister said he will make Hungary’s position on the matter clear at the meeting. “We’ll be fighting tomorrow in Brussels and then over the course of the legislative procedure in the coming weeks to ensure that Hungary gets exemptions from the implementation of both the cap on gas prices and the cap on oil prices,” Minister Szijjártó said.

The foreign minister said Hungary buying its oil from Russia is “not some sort of political statement”, adding that this was the only way currently to guarantee the security of the country’s oil supply. This was why, the foreign minister noted, Hungary had fought for the exemption of pipeline deliveries of Russian oil from the EU’s embargo. Minister Szijjártó said that this time he will fight for the exemption of pipeline crude deliveries and long-term gas supply agreements from the price caps. “If we can achieve these … then Hungary’s energy security will remain intact,” the minister said.