PM Orbán holds emergency meeting following Druzhba pipeline incident

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL has said it was prepared to ensure the country and the region’s energy supply.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held an emergency meeting last night with members of the government to discuss an incident in Poland after power to the Druzhba pipeline which delivers Russian crude to Europe was cut following a missile strike. The Hungarian government came to the conclusion that a "calm response" was needed to avoid escalation.

According to reports, two people were killed when a missile struck just outside the Polish village of Przewodow, 6.4 kilometers west of the Ukrainian border, on Tuesday afternoon. Polish President Andrzej Duda said there was no “conclusive evidence” as to who launched the missile which was most likely Russian-made. Russia’s defense ministry denied it was behind the blast and says it is a “deliberate provocation aimed at escalation."

Following the attack, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán convened the Defense Council for an emergency meeting. Prior to the meeting, Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky consulted with NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg on the telephone.

“In the current situation, the most important thing is to remain calm,” Szalay-Bobrovniczky said on public television last night. “We have to wait for the Polish government to provide information about the possible missile attack, and in the case of the oil pipeline, it is important to note that it was not the pipeline but a transformer that was hit,” he said.

“We are also urging ourselves to be very careful not to draw any far-reaching conclusions from this assessment at this time,” the minister stressed, adding that on information currently available, everyone is urging their countries to remain calm, and it remains to be seen what information the Polish government will provide.

Zoltán Kovács, Secretary of State for International Communication and Relations, said the prime minister has decided that the latest developments in the Russian-Ukrainian war will be assessed in detail at this morning's cabinet meeting, beginning at 8 a.m. The meeting will analyze the current situation from the point of view of Hungary's military and energy security, including on the basis of intelligence reports.

Meanwhile, Hungarian oil and gas company MOL has said it was prepared to ensure the country and the region’s energy supply. MOL’s operational and Hungary’s strategic oil reserves are sufficient to keep the main refinery in Százhalombatta running until the damage is repaired.