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MINISTRY OFFICIAL: ENERGY SUPPLY TOP HUNGARIAN PRIORITY

 

When it comes to drawing up EU sanctions against Russia, Hungary attaches prime importance to the security of its energy supply, a ministry of innovation and technology official said after attending an extraordinary meeting of the Energy Council in Brussels on Monday. Attila Steiner said Russia’s decision to cut off gas to Poland and Bulgaria would not affect Hungary’s own supply, and the country was receiving Russian gas in accordance with its contract. Gas is flowing through Bulgaria to Hungary, he noted, adding that this was crucially important to guarantee its supply. Steiner told members of the Energy Council that Hungary has made big investments in its gas network over the past few years, building cross-border interconnectors. But other member states and third countries are needed to secure necessary gas resources, he said. He also noted that Hungary’s gas storage capacities are among the largest in the region. Meanwhile, Hungary’s supply of crude oil is continuous, he said. Hungary’s domestic refineries are geared towards Russian crude, so these supplies must be maintained, he said. Whereas countries in the region have invested heavily in alternative sources in recent years, dependence on Russian energy is still high, he said, adding that it would be a matter of years before investments yielded alternative sources of energy. Press reports indicate that Hungary and Slovakia may be excluded from the EU oil embargo in view of their special situation, but Hungary has not yet received a related proposal in writing, Steiner added.