RPT: ANALYSIS – EU gives no valid argument to oppose Hungary’s decision to import Russian gas


BRUSSELS (UrduPoint News / Spoutnik – September 30, 2021) The European Union has expressed concerns over Hungary’s contract with Russian Gazprom for the supply of gas, transported via Serbia and Austria, but Brussels no There is absolutely no valid reason to oppose the deal despite Ukraine’s displeasure, experts said Sputnik.

The negative reaction of the European Commission to the announcement of the agreement was foreseeable, since Vice-President Frans Timmermans, also in charge of the European Green Deal, has long insisted on excluding Hungary “from the European game”, according to Samuele. Furfari, professor of geopolitics of energy at the University of Brussels and former senior official in the energy directorate of the European Commission.

“Hungary is right to secure its supplies with a 15-year contract, at a good fixed price. This is the type of contract that many European countries have, starting with Germany which will soon have its two Nord Stream Baltic gas pipelines, guaranteeing a supply of Russian gas for all of Europe, ”said Furfari.

He further noted that Gazprom is a reliable company that already has long-term relationships with several EU member states, including Germany. Moreover, as Furfari pointed out, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder chaired the consortium that built Nord Stream 2, which is expected to start operating soon.

However, the European Union’s reaction will most likely be verbal and no action will follow, Bruno Colmant, professor of economics at the universities of Brussels, Leuven and Luxembourg, former banker and former director of the Brussels Stock Exchange, told Sputnik.

“The EU felt compelled to react and raised ‘security concerns’, Hungary being politically sanctioned at regular intervals by the Union, but this is only rhetoric,” he noted.

In addition, energy isolationism will become more and more prevalent in Europe in general, given the closure of nuclear power plants in several European countries, Colmant added.

“We will soon see the emergence of an ‘energy nationalism’ of the member states which will want to ensure their energy needs at a reasonable price over long periods. It is normal that Hungary, with its known nationalist positions, shows the way in this evolution”, explained the expert.

Natural gas prices have been on the rise for several months in Europe, hitting a record high of $ 1,000 per 1,000 cubic meters this week. This is a cyclical rise due to the economic recovery after the pandemic, according to Furfari.

“In the United States, the price of gas has not changed. This increase in the price of gas is artificially fueled by traders who are putting a lot of money in their pockets in Europe and Asia mainly, but there is no shortage of gas and no reason for this momentary rise to continue, “he added. he declares.

Since the price spike is most likely temporary and there is enough gas in the world to meet demand, Hungary’s decision to secure long-term supply at a fixed price is in line with energy policies. led by Germany, Italy or France, Furfari concluded. .

On Monday, the Hungarian government and Gazprom signed a contract to supply 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year until the end of 2036. Kiev expressed disappointment with the gas supply contract bypassing Ukraine , claiming that this undermines the positive trends in its relations with Ukraine. Hungary, as well as plans announced to appeal to the European Commission.

The Commission has since asked Budapest to assess the impact of the gas contract with Russia on the security of energy supplies within three months and to present the findings to the European Union.

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