BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary is ready to start talks with Russia’s Gazprom about a new long-term gas supply deal, Hungary’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto met the chairman of Gazprom in Budapest earlier on Monday. Hungary imports most of its gas from Russia under a supply agreement due to expire by 2020.
Right-wing conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban has pursued what he has hailed as good pragmatic relations with Russia ever since he came to power in 2010.
Hungary, which has annual gas consumption of around 10 billion cubic meters, already has its gas storage full for this winter.
The central European country gets most of its gas via a pipeline that runs though Ukraine.
An existing deal on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and those transiting to Europe expires after Dec. 31. A new agreement has not yet been signed and talks are complicated by issues such as arbitration proceedings and Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Szijjarto told Reuters in October that the TurkStream pipeline should be constructed as soon as possible in Bulgaria because that would open up an additional gas delivery route to Hungary.
Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Christina Fincher
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