Economy & Policy

Hungary refuses to negotiate a possible gas embargo

Hungary's energy security cannot be a matter of compromise.

Arriving in Luxembourg on Monday for a meeting of EU energy ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said he was attending the meeting with a clear mandate that the government was not even willing to negotiate a gas embargo, as it would mean the end of the economy and the country’s ability to function.

According to the minister, it is fine for the EU to look for new sources of gas, but participation in the EU gas embargo should be voluntary and there should be no obligation for member states to purchase gas elsewhere. 

Szijjártó stressed that there are currently serious technical problems with the gas transport routes from Russia to Western Europe. Hungary expects the European Commission to investigate whether this is indeed due to the fact that the equipment needed to operate the pipeline system, which had previously been sent for maintenance, has not returned from Canada.

The minister pointed out that a national emergency has already been declared in several countries in Western Europe. He also noted that Hungary is already three-quarters of the way to meeting the EU’s mandatory gas storage requirements.

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