Gazprom has suspended the transit of gas to Hungary through the territory of Ukraine, the press service of the Ukrainian GTS Operator reported October 1st.
On September 27, Gazprom and the Hungarian company MVM CEEnergy Ltd signed new contracts for the supply of 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Hungary for 15 years.
Including 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year will be supplied through Serbia and 1 billion – through Austria. The agreements come into force on October 1 and provide for the possibility of changing the conditions after 10 years.
On October 1st, Gazprom began delivering gas to Hungary from the Turkish Stream through the gas transmission system of Bulgaria and Serbia as part of new agreements reached at the end of September.
“Since the beginning of the new gas day (7.00) on October 1, 2021, the transit of natural gas through the territory of Ukraine in the direction of Hungary has been suspended. Applications for gas transit have not been received, despite the fact that capacities across Ukraine for access to Hungary have been contracted for the entire gas year (from 01.10 .2021 to 09/30/2022) in the amount of 24.6 million cubic meters per day,” a statement of the Operator of the Ukrainian gas transportation system said on Facebook.
The general director of the company, Sergei Makogon, said that Hungary had received gas through the territory of Ukraine for decades, and the Ukrainian side had never violated its obligations.
“The Ukrainian route is economically profitable, because it is the shortest way to supply gas to Hungary. … The monopolization of gas routes by Gazprom, which we are now observing, raises the question of the fundamental principles of the functioning of the EU gas markets – competition and transparency. Strengthening the dominant position of one player and his use of leverage for obvious political purposes against the backdrop of a shocking rise in gas prices in Europe must be stopped,” the press service quoted Makogon.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying that Hungary’s supply deal was a “purely political, economically unreasonable decision” that was taken “to the detriment of Ukraine’s national interests and Ukrainian-Hungarian relations”.
In response, Kiev cancelled a meeting of a joint commercial committee with Hungary that was scheduled September 30th.
Hungary’s foreign affairs minister Péter Szijjártó defended the deal as the only economic reality to secure Hungarian energy needs.
The country has relied on Russia for most of its natural gas imports delivered via a pipeline through Ukraine, but in recent years Russians have diversified exports routes, constructing the Nord Stream pipelines to Germany and the TurkStream link to Turkey.
The Hungarian government announced at the end of August it had agreed with Moscow on all the conditions for a new long-term gas supply deal to take effect from October 1.
The duration for the agreement with Gazprom would be for 15 years, with a clause to change purchased quantities after 10 years.
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