Despite the fact that Russia has stopped delivering gas to Poland and Bulgaria for their refusal to pay in rubles, Hungarian gas imports remain steady, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday.
Szijjártó emphasized that a significant part of the natural gas transmission to Hungary, 3.5 billion cubic meters per year, arrives in Hungary via the so-called southern route through Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia.
In this respect, the news that Gazprom’s supply to Bulgaria has stopped has been disturbing, he added.
“The accurate news is that Gazprom is not supplying gas to Bulgaria. According to Gazprom, transits through Bulgaria, to Serbia or Hungary are independent [of deliveries to Bulgaria]. Gazprom has a contract with a different Bulgarian company for the delivery of quantities to Bulgaria and for transit shipments,” Szijjártó explained.
“I would like to reassure everyone that not delivering gas to Bulgaria does not mean stopping transit through Bulgaria. Of course, we will also consult with our Bulgarian partners tomorrow, but for the time being, everyone involved has confirmed this information,” the minister added.
Szijjártó recalled that Gazprom is switching to a different method of payment: a company called Gazprom Export is asking for the price of gas in rubles.
“However, a solution has been found that allows us to transfer the price of gas in euros to our euro account with Gazprom Bank, which will be converted into rubles by Gazprom Bank and which will be transferred to Gazprom Export,” he said.
Szijjártó indicated that “according to the news published yesterday, our Slovak friends and colleagues will pay in the same way, at least the Slovak economic minister, who supervises the energy affairs of Slovakia, said so. By the way, our next payment obligation will be on May 22.”
Szijjártó concluded by assuring Hungarians that the natural gas supply to the country is “proceeding smoothly according to the contract and schedule.”