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Hungary postpones signing of gas contract with Russia

February 20, 2015, 14:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The decision not to sign a new long-term contract yet was made due to the unstable situation on the market, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in an interview published by the Kommersant daily
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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Druzhinin

MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Hungary has postponed for 1-2 years the signing of a long-term natural gas contract with Russia, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in an interview published by the Kommersant daily on Friday.

"I think we’ve made the right decision not to conclude a new long-term agreement. Nobody knows the international market pricing. The market is very nervous today, the situation is constantly changing. We need to wait for a year or two until everything calms down — to be able to see on which terms we can negotiate long-term agreements. And so far gas redistribution will be settling our problems," he said, adding that "the current adjournment ensures gas supplies to Hungary for some 4-5 years."

A source close to Russia’s natural gas giant Gazprom told TASS previously that the negotiations on Gazprom contract’s prolongation with Hungary are currently at the initial stage and will take into account both sides’ demands.

Hungary plans to sign a new, 5-year contract on natural gas supply with Gazprom. Hungary currently pays $260 for 1,000 cubic meters of supplied gas.

During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Budapest on February 17, the sides agreed that it was possible to give up the "take or pay" principle in gas supplies and also reduce the volume of obligatory gas intake under the contracts.

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