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Hungarian PM Viktor Orban announces forthcoming deal to import natural gas from Romania

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban announced in a press conference on Friday that his country will soon sign a 15-year agreement to import almost half the natural gas it needs each year from Romania, which will thus considerably cut its dependence on Russia.

Orban stated that three Hungarian companies had won a tender in Romania for the gas, without naming those companies.

Within moments we will sign an agreement, which will allow for the next 15 years the imports of over 4 billion cubic meters of gas from Romania,” Orban said.

The era of Russian gas monopoly will come to an end in Hungary … as we will be able to cover more than half of our imports from other, in this case Romanian, sources,” he added.

Later on in the day, during an economic event, Orban reiterated that the Romanian gas imports could start after 2022.

Hungarian FM Peter Szijjarto also told MTI press agency after meeting Romanian counterpart Teodor Melescanu in Bucharest last week that, as of 2022, huge volumes of gas from the Black Sea will be supplied to Hungary.

Szijjarto said the Hungarian companies have reserved the entire capacity of 4.4 billion cubic metres per year of the pipeline which will connect Romania to Hungary, an opportunity to buy gas elsewhere from Russia. The Hungarian official, according to MTI, added that it has been agreed to build compensation units to allow the supply of 1.75 billion cubic metres of gas per year, as of 2020 and the capacity will be increased to 4.4 billion cubic metres in 2022.

However, Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu contradicted his Hungarian counterpart on the gas exports a day later, saying no agreements have been signed.

According to European regulations one cannot talks about exclusive gas resources and infrastructures to a certain destination or a certain country,” the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) informed in a press release.

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