Joint purchases and a price cap on Russian gas could lead to a reduction in supplies and higher costs, the country’s FM says © Getty Images / spooh
The European Commission’s proposal on joint gas purchases by EU member states is a risky move, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto warned on Wednesday.
“The European Commission’s proposal is unsuitable and even dangerous… threatens to further cut gas supplies to Europe,” he stated in a video address posted to his Facebook page. The minister urged Hungary not to accept the “risky” proposal, which could only lead to a drop in supplies and an increase in energy prices.
He stressed once more that Hungary opposes another “dangerous” notion – a price cap on Russian gas, which “would mean that the Russians would stop supplying natural gas to Europe.”
“According to simple economic principles, if we increase the quantity of a given product in a market, its price will decrease, but if we decrease the quantity of the product, the price will increase. Therefore, the amount of natural gas on the European market should be increased. It would be necessary for as much natural gas as possible to arrive in Europe from as many sources as possible,” he added.
The minister said that Hungarian gas storages are currently 50% full, which means that the country has enough gas reserves for six months. He called this an “outstanding” result compared with other EU countries. Reuters, citing Aurora Energy Research analysts, recently reported that even a 100% gas storage level would only sustain the bloc for about three months.
Hungary has a long-term contract for gas supplies with Russia’s Gazprom, and the country “is guaranteed to receive 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Russia.” Also, at the end of August Hungary signed an additional two-month contract for the supply of up to 5.8 million cubic meters of Russian gas per day starting on September 1.
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