ST. PETERSBURG, September 1. /TASS/. Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said that over the years he has been heading the ministry, Gazprom has always fulfilled its obligations on gas supplies.
"I can say that it’s not easy to agree on anything with Gazprom, which is natural, it is not easy to agree with us either. But so far what I have agreed upon with Mr. Miller in the last, let’s say, seven years since I have taken office was always kept by him, 200%, I have to admit this," the minister said in an interview with TASS.
On Monday, Szijjarto announced, following a meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller in St. Petersburg, that the countries had reached a new long-term agreement on the supply of Russian gas, which will come into force on October 1 this year. He said that the agreement with Gazprom is set for 15 years with the possibility of altering the volume of gas purchases in 10 years. The head of the Hungarian diplomatic service also indicated that Gazprom "will annually supply 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Hungary and noted that 3.5 billion will be supplied through Serbia, and one billion through Austria.
"My, or our, goal was to agree on all details of the contract today and the only thing which should be left now is to put it on paper and make it. So, I have agreed on all the terms with CEO Alexei Miller. I am grateful to him because he has already been a fair and correct partner for me," the Hungarian top diplomat said.
Favorable contract terms
Szijjarto said that under the common agreement [with Gazprom] the contract will be finalized and signed in September. He also noted that in the new contract the price for gas "is much more favorable than the price which has been enshrined in the agreement that expires now."
"It makes it possible for us, Hungarians, to keep the lowest level of utility costs for the people in Hungary in the entire European Union, it was very important for me," he said.
"We have agreed that we buy this gas in two directions, so diversification of routes is also being enshrined in the agreement. So, from the western direction through Austria and from the southern direction through Serbia. This is a new transit route. This is going to be operational from October 1, that is when we finish our infrastructure that connects the Serbia-Hungary border with our national system," Szijjarto said.
"So, I think the mission is completed in this regard and the safety of energy supply of our country is given for the next period. We had a very positive experience on the cooperation between Gazprom and Hungary, Russia and Hungary," the minister concluded.