This year, the Russian energy company Gazprom is delivering additional natural gas to Hungary and China, according to the company’s CEO. On Sunday, 22 October Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller announced the delivery of surplus gas to Hungary and China during the winter, as reported by Reuters, citing the Russian TASS agency. The CEO stated that Gazprom has taken on additional deliveries beyond its contractual obligations, having already delivered 1.3 billion cubic metres of gas to Hungary and an additional 600 million cubic metres more to China.
Gazprom is making efforts to compensate for the losses in the European markets, which occurred following the Russian invasion of Ukraine,
partly due to the explosions in the Baltic Sea pipelines of the Nord Stream project.
Reuters noted that Alexey Miller was a member of the large group of business leaders who accompanied Russian President Vladimir Putin during his recent negotiations in China. The news agency also highlighted that Hungary is the only EU Member State whose leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, has maintained ‘friendly relations’ with Putin since the Ukrainian invasion in February 2022, despite Hungary’s NATO membership.
In fact, besides states such as Austria and Slovakia with more open relations with Russia, even Germany has continued its gas deals with the Eastern European nation. Furthermore,
the United States has purchased an unprecedented amount of uranium from Russia.
These are just a few examples of the Western world’s continued economic ties with the belligerent nation.
While the Reuters article links Gazprom’s CEO’s recent announcement to Viktor Orbán’s visit to China and portrays it as a result of a short meeting with Putin, it is possible that the announcement is a result of a prior agreement. In fact, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, announced in late August that, according to the agreement signed with Gazprom, more gas could be arriving in Hungary from September onwards, exceeding the already contracted quantities and the surplus for August, via Serbia.
The EU as a whole has sharply reduced its dependence on Russian energy in response to the Ukraine war, however, TASS quoted Gazprom’s Miller as saying in a TV interview that additional gas supplies to Hungary this year amounted to 1.3 billion cubic meters.
‘And we have an agreement that we will supply additional volumes on an ongoing basis in the coming winter’, he added.
Miller also claimed daily demand from China was also above contracted levels.
‘We regularly supply additional volumes to the Chinese market. Moreover, we have been doing this for several years now. This year, I think [the extra amount] will be 600 million cubic metres of gas,’ he said, as quoted by Reuters.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/Reuters