Hungary has reached an agreement with Russia’s natural gas monopoly Gazprom on increased gas supply to the country during the autumn-winter period, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.
“We will need large gas volumes in the coming period to replenish the reserves. I have reached an agreement with (Gazprom CEO Alexey) Miller, so we will receive these volumes,” Orban said on Hungarian radio, commenting on his talks with Miller held in Budapest on September 22.
Orban said Hungary’s energy supply “should not be jeopardized” in connection with the Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute. According to him, the country’s gas storage facilities are currently 60% filled.
On Thursday, Hungary’s gas operator FGSZ Ltd. suspended natural gas supplies to Ukraine for an indefinite period of time. The decision was made to meet the growing domestic demand for gas, the company said.
Gas supplies to Ukraine were suspended at 6pm local time on September 25. “Gas supplies have been halted for an indefinite period of time,” the company said in a statement. “In order to manage the security supply and preserve the network balance, the Beregdarуc network point connection has to be altered to enable all pipelines to be suited for inward transmission,” FGSZ said.
In March 2013, Ukraine and Hungary agreed on gas supplies to Ukraine in the amount of up to 6.1 billion cubic meters a year (16.6 million cubic meters a day). It was also stated that the system could operate only intermittently, depending on current commercial and technical conditions.
Hungary’s news agency MTI reported on Friday that the country’s National Development Ministry stated on Thursday that the government would "take the necessary measures to secure gas supply to Hungarian consumers and accelerate filling its gas storage facilities ahead of the winter season".