Hungarian Foreign Minister travels to Moscow to discuss purchasing more Russian gas
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijarto travelled to Moscow on Thursday to discuss purchasing more Russian gas, according to a Facebook post by Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party.
“In order to ensure the security of Hungary’s energy supply, the government has decided to purchase an additional 700 million cubic meters of natural gas in addition to the quantities stipulated in the long-term contracts,” the post read.
Szijarto is scheduled to meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.
Hungary, which imports 65% of its oil and 80% of its natural gas from Russia, recently declared a “state of danger” over the EU’s energy shortage.
The far-right Fidesz party has been vocal in its opposition to EU sanctions on Russia that were placed as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.
Last week, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban told Hungarian public radio, “Initially, I thought we had only shot ourselves in the foot, but now it is clear that the European economy has shot itself in the lungs, and it is gasping for air… The sanctions do not help Ukraine, however, they are bad for the European economy and if it goes on like this, they will kill off the European economy…What we see right now is unbearable.”
Hungary has also refused to allow the transit of weapons through Hungary to Ukraine. Last week, Hungarian foreign ministry spokesperson Paczolay Mate reiterated Budapest’s position, stating, "We do not send soldiers or weapons to Ukraine, and we do not allow weapons to cross the Hungarian-Ukrainian border. Not a single weapon delivery has crossed the Hungarian-Ukrainian border, and this will not change in the future, as this poses a security risk to the area of Transcarpathia and would endanger the safety of the Hungarian people."