Hungarian foreign minister arrives in Russia to try to ensure gas supplies

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Hungary’s foreign minister has arrived in Moscow where he wants to talk about ensuring gas supplies for his country and finding a peaceful solution to the war in Ukraine, he said on Thursday.

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Peter Szijjarto will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, state news agency MTI reported, citing a foreign ministry spokesman.

Szijjarto and Lavrov are expected to hold a news conference later on Thursday.

“We have arrived in Moscow. We have two tasks ahead: to ensure that there will be natural gas supplies for Hungarian people and stress that we want peace as soon as possible,” Szijjarto posted on his Facebook page.

Under a 15-year deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom signed last year, Hungary receives 3.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year via Bulgaria and Serbia, and a further 1 bcm via a pipeline from Austria.

Szijjarto said earlier that Budapest was in talks to buy more gas on the market before the heating season as countries in Europe scramble to fill up and as energy prices skyrocket.

He also said on Monday that Hungary was in talks with Russia about redirecting all of its gas shipments under the long-term supply deal to the Turkstream pipeline that brings gas to Hungary via Serbia.

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