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Hungary’s Foreign Minister Holds Energy Talks With Russia’s Premier

BUDAPEST, March 29 (Reuters) – Hungary’s foreign minister held telephone talks with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak about gas and oil shipments as well as nuclear co-operation, the Hungarian minister said late on Tuesday.

In a statement, Peter Szijjarto said Novak had reassured him that despite international sanctions, the Russian party would be able to do maintenance work on the Turkstream pipeline.

“Thus Hungary’s gas supply will continue without any disruptions,” the statement added.

Under a 15-year deal signed in 2021, before the start of the war in neighbouring Ukraine, Hungary receives 4.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year from Russia mostly via Bulgaria and Serbia on the Turkstream pipeline.

The Turkstream gas pipeline will be stopped for maintenance from June 5 to 12, according to data on the website of Bulgarian gas transmission operator Bulgartransgaz.

Szijjarto reiterated in his statement that Hungary would block any European Union sanctions that would affect nuclear energy.

Hungary, which buys most of its energy from Russia, plans to expand its nuclear power plant in Paks, with Russia’s Rosatom building two VVER reactors with capacity of 1.2 gigawatts each, in addition to the currently working four reactors.

Szijjarto also said he informed Novak that Hungary was in talks to increase the role of French company Framatome in the expansion of the Paks plant, as the German government was blocking the delivery of the control equipment for the new reactors at Paks.

German Siemens Energy has a contract for delivering the control equipment together with Framatome.

Source: Reuters