Orban and Putin agree to extend gas contract

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that it was important to continue negotiations and cooperation with Turkey over gas supply routes.

Source: Tanjug

In a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest on Tuesday, he said that Turkey is the biggest buyer of gas and will negotiate with all interested companies about building the pipeline.

"We do not want to exclude anyone, that's our plan. The gas from Turkey could go to Bulgaria and Greece," said Putin.

Putin added that Russia "never abandoned South Stream."

"They simply did not let us realize it," the Russian president said, recalling that in April 2014 the European Parliament said South Stream was a project that was not only without a future, but also harmful to the EU.

After that, Bulgaria was sent a letter demanding that it halts preparatory works.

Putin was also quoted by the TASS agency as saying that Russia was ready to, with its European partners, consider alternatives to South Stream, but does not intend to give up cooperation with Turkey, with which he reached an agreement on the construction of a new pipeline.

"We will not abandon the Turkish partnership, but we will negotiate with Hungary, Serbia and Austria. Russia is a partner everyone can rely on,"said Putin.

Viktor Orban stressed that Hungary will do everything to reach an agreement with Russia, and that "no one in Europe realizes that good relations with Russia are important."

"Everyone wants to expel Russia from Europe, but they do not know that without it they can go nowhere. Those who think they can do without Russia and its gas live in an illusion. Hungary has double duty now, because Serbia receives gas through it. Yesterday I spoke with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, and the plan is to negotiate with Macedonia and Greece," said Orban.

According to Reuters, Putin and Orban reached agreement to extend a gas supply contract that expires this year. Orban said that a clause in the expiring contract which means Hungary has to pay for gas it contracted to buy but did not use, had been resolved. He said Hungary can use the remaining gas under the contract in the coming years, and pay at the time when it draws on the gas, but he did not disclose the price, Reuters said.

The Hungarian news agency MTI reported that five agreements were signed yesterday in the presence of Putin and Orban - on the training of Hungarian nuclear experts in Russia, on the opening of the Hungarian consulate in Kazan, on health care, higher education, and regional cooperation.

MTI also noted this was Putin's first visit to an EU member state this year, and that and that the talks in the parliament building lasted nearly two hours.


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Region Thursday, February 26, 2015 14:42 Comments: 8
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