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Hungary says payment in rubles for Russian gas is not a violation of EU sanctions

Energy plays an important role in Russian-Hungarian economic relations. Russia had been supplying energy to Hungary for many years, covering 55 % of its oil consumption and 80 % of its gas consumption

Hungary says payment in rubles for Russian gas is not a violation of EU sanctions

Budapest, April 11 - Neftegaz.RU. The Viktor Orbán government is fiercely opposed to extend sanctions by cutting off imports of Russian gas & oil, arguing that without Russian energy imports, the Hungarian economy would grind to a halt.

Hungary will violate the EU sanctions policy towards Russia if it fulfills its promise to pay for Russian energy in rubles, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated this in a commentary to CNN.
However, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his country would be willing to pay for Russian gas in rubles.

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Péter Szijjárto stated:
  • I would like to reassure all that Hungary’s energy supplies are and will remain secure
  • Hungary can pay for Russian gas as required by the supplier without violating sanctions by Brussels
  • We understand that others have different interests but our interest lies in guaranteeing Hungary’s energy supplies
Hungarian government spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs also said that payment in rubles for Russian gas is not a violation of EU Union sanctions
Kovacs pointed out:
  • The EU so far has no common procurement of gas & oil for European countries
  • So as we speak, we still go by alongside those contracts we have with Russians regarding gas & oil, and according to those contracts, it is a technical issue, in what currency we have to pay
Kovacs said more than 80 % of the Hungarian population and the country's economy are dependent on Russian gas, with no physical alternatives.

Most recently, Orbán said that «Hungary won’t have any energy at all if supplies from Russia are cut,» and the Hungarian economy cannot function without those supplies.
Orbán stressed that Hungary could not «turn off cheap Russian energy and buy expensive American energy instead,» which he said was an «absurd» proposal.

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