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SZIJJÁRTÓ: AGREEMENT WITH RUSSIA ON MAY'S OIL CONTAMINATION

 

Hungary and Russia have agreed to a settlement regarding the contamination of an oil pipeline in May, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said. The contamination of the pipeline from Russia with chlorine in the spring was a one-off matter and the problem was resolved swiftly, chief executive of Hungarian oil and gas company MOL, Zsolt Hernádi, said at a news conference held together with Szijjártó and Lukoil’s chief executive. Szijjártó said the relevant document would be ready to sign on Wednesday.

Also raised at the talks was broadening ties between Lukoil and MOL to include high value-added petrochemical cooperation, he said. Talks are also under way on oil storage in Hungary, he added. Meanwhile, Szijjártó noted that natural gas storage was at a record high in Hungary, reaching 6.5 billion cubic meters for the first time this year – 100% of domestic capacity.

Referring to the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant, the minister noted that preparations for the application for the construction permit were under way after approval of the technical plans. The document running to hundreds of thousands of pages will be submitted to the National Atomic Energy Agency by June 30, 2020. He said the operation of new blocks at Paks was a precondition for the country’s competitiveness and environmental protection.

Szijjártó said Hungary-Russia energy cooperation was smooth and fulfilled the country’s energy needs. Both sides are committed to long-term cooperation, he added. Supplies from the south are not yet on tap since the relevant countries have not made the necessary decisions, he added. Szijjártó said Russia’s energy cooperation with Hungary was not as significant as with western energy companies — despite sanctions — but it was tightening every year. Energy security is a national security issue, he said, so the government makes the related policies based on the Hungarian national interest.