KIEV, September 28. / TASS /. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry invites the Hungarian ambassador to inform it of Kiev’s position regarding the Budapest agreement with Russian Gazprom, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on Tuesday.
“The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry invites the Hungarian Ambassador to Kiev to inform them of our basic position,” he said in a comment to RBC-Ukraine, adding that it was a response proportionate to the measures taken by Budapest.
He explained that, in Kiev’s view, the gas transport routes bypassing Ukraine jeopardized its national security as well as Europe’s energy security.
“The latest agreement between Hungary and Gazprom is a blow to Ukrainian-Hungarian relations. The Ukrainian side will take resolute measures to protect its national interests,” Nikolenko said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said the Ukrainian ambassador had been summoned to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry over actions by Kiev regarding the Budapest-Gazprom deal. He described as “extremely scandalous” the actions of the Ukrainian government taken through the European Commission against this agreement. Szijjarto added that Budapest viewed the measures taken by Kiev as a violation of Hungary’s sovereignty and its national security interests.
Contract with Gazprom
On Monday, Hungary signed another long-term contract with Gazprom to import gas via routes bypassing Ukraine. The managers of Gazprom and the energy company MFM have obtained authorization for the operation from the Hungarian Foreign Ministry. Before the deal was concluded, Kiev had expressed disappointment and warned that it would ask the European Commission to review the deal to verify its compliance with European energy legislation. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has warned that the gas contract could lead to the postponement of a meeting of the Ukrainian-Hungarian joint commission for energy cooperation.
In response, Budapest accused Kiev of interfering in its internal affairs. From October 1, Hungary will receive gas only via the Balkan Stream gas pipeline (an extension of TurkStream) and the South Eastern European gas pipelines.