Russia and Hungary agree to supply gas bypassing Ukraine for decades

Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller and Peter Siyarto, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Economic Relations of Hungary, signed a new contract in Budapest for the supply of natural gas from Russia to Hungary until the end of 2036, RIA Novosti reports.

The Russian company will sell 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas a year to Hungary during the period of 15 years, of which 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas will be transported via Serbia and another billion - via Austria. The agreement is due to enter into force on October 1. It provides for an opportunity to change its conditions after 10 years.

As of 2020, Hungary imported 8.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia. This is the second largest number in 12 years.

Noteworthy, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine has already condemned the agreements between Russia and Hungary regarding long-term gas supplies bypassing Ukraine.

Spokespeople for the ministry said that Ukraine was surprised and disappointed with Hungary's decision.

“We consider this an exclusively political, economically unjustified decision that was made to please the Kremlin and to the detriment of national interests of Ukraine and the relationship between Hungary and Ukraine,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry noted.

It will be more profitable for Hungary to receive gas in transit through the gas transportation system of Ukraine, which ensures "the shortest way to uninterruptedly supply gas to European countries," Ukrainian officials said. 

Ukraine will  also turn to the European Commission with a request to assess the new contract, which, according to the Foreign Ministry, will have a significant impact on the energy security of Ukraine and Europe.