Ukraine reacts to Hungary’s new gas deal with Russia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has postponed the meeting of the Joint Ukrainian-Hungarian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation due to the signing by Hungary of a new long-term contract with Russia’s Gazprom for gas supply bypassing Ukraine.

This is according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Ukrinform reports.

“We are surprised and disappointed by Hungary’s decision to sign in Budapest on September 27, 2021, a new long-term contract with Russia’s Gazprom Concern for the supply of gas bypassing Ukraine,” the statement said.

The foreign ministry sees it as a purely political and economically unviable decision taken in favor of the Kremlin and to the detriment of Ukraine’s national interests and Ukrainian-Hungarian relations, which does not comply with the principles of the Treaty on Good Neighborliness and Cooperation between Ukraine and Hungary of December 6, 1991.

It remains more profitable for Hungary to receive gas in transit through Ukraine’s extensive gas transmission system, which allows for the shortest possible uninterrupted gas supply to Europe, the foreign ministry wrote.

“We note with sadness that this decision harms the positive results and trends in bilateral Ukrainian-Hungarian relations, to achieve which many efforts and energy were personally made by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Hungary, Dmytro Kuleba and Peter Szijjarto,” the statement said.

The foreign ministry said the fifth meeting of the Joint Ukrainian-Hungarian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, co-chaired by the two countries’ top diplomats, was set to take place in Budapest on September 29-30. The Ukrainian side had carefully prepared for it, rightly hoping that the event will become another positive step in bilateral relations.

“Today, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry initiated the postponement of the Commission meeting, as the Hungarian-Russian gas agreement will have a significant impact on the energy security of Ukraine and Europe, creating new circumstances that require a comprehensive risk and threat analysis, as well as coordinated efforts by the region’s powers to minimize its negative implications,” the statement stressed.

The Ukrainian side will also apply to the European Commission to assess the compliance of the new Hungarian-Russian gas deal with European energy legislation.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, Hungary has agreed with Russia on all conditions for the new long-term gas supply agreement to enter into force on October 1. This is about the supply of Russian gas bypassing Ukraine. Hungary will be annually receiving 3.5 billion cubic meters through Serbia via the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and its overland extension, as well as another 1 bcm – through Austria.

(c) Ukrinform

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