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Russia's Putin talks gas with Hungarian PM

Russia's Putin talks gas with Hungarian PM

Hungary and Russia will sign deals Tuesday spelling out their cooperation in building a new natural gas pipeline that strengthens Russia's domination of European energy supplies, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.
Putin said during talks Tuesday with his Hungarian counterpart that Russia's state-controlled gas supplier Gazprom and Hungary's development bank would set up a joint venture on building the Hungarian leg of the South Stream pipeline.
The 10 billion euros ($13 billion) pipeline, which will go through Hungary after crossing Bulgaria and Serbia, undercuts an alternative project, the Nabucco pipeline, which has been backed by the United States and the European Union as a way to ease Europe's reliance on Russia for energy.
Putin said a separate deal would be signed Tuesday on building an underground gas storage facility in Hungary, which would turn the EU member into a major hub for Russian supplies.
Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany said the storage facility would hold enough gas to meet one half of Hungary's current annual gas needs.
Gyurcsany stressed that Hungary favors multiple pipelines to Europe. His country also is participating in the construction of Nabucco, which would deliver gas from the Caspian Sea region and potentially Central Asia westward through Bulgaria, bypassing Russia.
The competing efforts to build the South Stream and Nabucco pipelines have taken on added urgency following the two-week shutdown of Russian gas supplies to European countries early this year during Moscow's dispute with Ukraine. About 20 percent of the gas consumed in the European Union comes from Russia through pipelines that cross Ukraine.
Hungary signed onto the South Stream project a year ago following talks between Gyurcsany and Putin, who was Russia's president at the time.


Updated : 2020-12-05 17:37 GMT+08:00