UPDATE 1-Germany 'blocking' equipment for Paks reactors, Hungarian minister says

(Adds minister comment, Siemens comment, background)

BUDAPEST, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Hungary’s foreign minister on Tuesday said that the German government was “blocking” a permit to allow Siemens Energy to ship control equipment for the new reactors Russia’s Rosatom is building at Hungary’s Paks nuclear power plant.

Siemens has a contract for delivering the equipment, together with French company Framatome, but a statement from Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto that while France has granted the necessary permit the Germany has not.

Hungary plans to expand its Paks nuclear plant, with Rosatom building two 1.2 gigawatt VVER reactors in addition to the existing four reactors.

The much-delayed project was awarded to Rosatom in 2014 without a tender. That has often been cited as a sign of warm ties between Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

After meeting the French energy minister in Paris, Szijjarto said that while France took a “pragmatic” approach to the issue, the German government “continues to block delivery” by Siemens Energy of a contracted control system for the Paks plant.

“This could qualify as an attack on our sovereignty as safety of energy supply is an issue of sovereignty,” Szijjarto said.

At its annual shareholder meeting last week, Siemens Energy confirmed that the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) has not yet decided on its application for an export licence for the Hungarian delivery.

Germany’s Economy Ministry declined to comment on the issue last week.

Nuclear energy is not subject to European Union sanctions. (Reporting by Krisztina Than Additional reporting by Christoph Steitz in Germany Editing by Alex Richardson and David Goodman )