Ukraine, Hungary at odds over Russian gas deal

4. Ukraine Hungary
The Gazprom logo on a building front. (Photo: PxHere)
KIEV— Ukraine and Hungary summoned each other’s ambassadors on Tuesday, as a new row erupted between the post-Soviet country and the EU member over Russian natural gas supplies.اضافة اعلان

Russia on Monday signed a 15-year agreement to send up to 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas a year to Hungary, bypassing Ukraine

Kiev, which fears losing much-needed transit fees and sees the agreement as a threat to its security, said it was “disappointed” by Hungary’s decision which it claimed had been “taken to please the Kremlin.”

Hungary accused Kiev of interfering in its domestic affairs, and on Tuesday, the two countries summoned each other’s ambassadors. 

“Hungary’s new agreement with Gazprom deals a serious blow to Ukrainian-Hungarian relations,” Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko told AFP.

“Our principled position is that the transportation of gas bypassing Ukraine undermines our country’s national security and Europe’s energy security,” he added. 

Both Hungary and Russia said Ukraine had no right to interfere.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a statement: “We consider it a violation of our sovereignty that Ukraine wants to prevent Hungary’s secure gas supply.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia guaranteed “reliable supplies to Hungary.”

“No-one’s rights are being violated here,” he told reporters. 

Over the past few years, Kiev and Budapest have been at odds over a number of issues including the rights of the Hungarian ethnic minority in Ukraine.

Ukraine — in conflict with Russia since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea — fears it will lose its role as a transit route of Russian gas to Europe and says that Moscow uses its pipelines as a geopolitical weapon.

Earlier this month Russia announced the completion of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, a project that has raised US concerns, divided Europe, and angered Ukraine.

Kiev has warned that the pipeline will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and vowed to fight it.

Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, and Kiev’s conflict with Moscow-backed separatists has claimed more than 13,000 lives. 

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