Hungary sustains ties with Russia: FM
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto argues that his talks with Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov last month provided an opportunity to discuss urgent energy supply issues, as per Hir TV.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto defended his recent meeting with Russia's top diplomat, Sergey Lavrov, saying that someone needs to talk to Moscow in order to keep Hungarian homes warm in the winter.
He was referring to Europe's impending energy crisis, which has been exacerbated by EU sanctions against Moscow and a sharp drop in Russian energy supplies.
Szijjarto told Hir TV on Sunday that his talks with Lavrov on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last month provided an opportunity to discuss urgent energy supply issues.
“So when the excellent opposition colleagues describe how stupid this was, let them think that while there might not be warm elsewhere, they will have heating in their apartments. Because someone had to talk (to Russia),” he said.
According to Szijjarto, there is currently "only one gas pipeline in Europe that runs from east to west and operates 100% of the time" - TurkStream, which transports Russian gas to Hungary via Turkey, Bulgaria, and Serbia. Szijjarto stated that the Russian energy giant Gazprom has met all of its obligations to Serbia.
He also revealed that he had discussed Hungary's overdue gas payments. MVM, the state-owned energy company, announced last week that it had reached an agreement with Gazprom to postpone its payments for the winter.
Foreign policy, according to Szijjarto, is "a tool to make the country better off." He admitted that his meeting with Lavrov may not be viewed as a "high-flying story" by the media, but he added, "But what is foreign policy for, if not for this?!"
It is worth noting that Hungary is heavily reliant on Moscow for energy, receiving roughly 80% of its gas from Gazprom.
While Russia has cut off gas supplies to several countries, Hungary signed an agreement with Moscow in late August for additional deliveries on top of previously agreed-upon volumes.