A trade agreement has been signed for Hungary to purchase a total of 4.2 billion cubic metres of gas from Russia’s Gazprom between October this year and next year, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said. Szijjártó said from Moscow that he was also starting talks on the period after next autumn. “Our goal is to sign a long-term agreement for three times five years which can be cancelled at the end of any five-year period,” he added. “This would secure long-term supplies for us and it would also enable us to renegotiate or possibly quit the agreement in case better opportunities arise and the international energy market changes.” Szijjártó said Hungary was buying 2 billion cubic metres of gas to fill storage facilities this summer and transports had already started.
Progress has also been made in expanding transport routes and from next October, Hungary can also purchase gas from the south thanks to the completion of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, he added. “All decisions have been made in Hungary to connect the Serbian-Hungarian border and the Hungarian national grid with a 15 km pipeline, the planning of which has already started,” he said. “This will enable the arrival of 6 billion cubic metres of gas in Hungary from the south after October next year.”
He also said that political support has been clearly expressed by both sides for developing cooperation in space research. “We would like to involve three large research projects in Russian-Hungarian cooperation that already involve high-value technological contributions by Hungarian companies, industrial firms and scientists,” he said. “Over the next four or five years, these technological developments will reach the level where the instruments can be taken to the International Space Station for research purposes,” he added. “Clearly our plan is to have a Hungarian research astronaut in the team that transports the instruments to the International Space Station.”
Szijjártó said there were further opportunities for bilateral cooperation in research for a novel coronavirus vaccine and therapy, with both countries having made successful protection efforts against the pandemic. He added that the two countries had already maintained highly-developed links in health care and especially in the pharmaceuticals industry, with over one-fifth of Hungarian exports comprising pharmaceuticals. Richter, which has a 100 million euro production base in Russia, has been able to keep its market share during the crisis and plans additional investment of 15 million euros, he said. A Hungarian medical instruments manufacturer is also active in the Russian market, he said.
During his talks in Moscow on Tuesday, Szijjártó met Roscosmos managing director Dmitry Rogozin, Health Minister and new Russian co-chair of the Hungarian-Russian intergovernmental committee Mikhail Murashko, Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov, Minister of Energy Alexander Novak and Transmashholding managing director Kirill Lipa and company leader Andrei Bokarev.