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Gazprom ramps up gas flows to Hungary via Turkstream pipeline, official says

Workers have emerged by way of a pipe at a construction site on the extension of Russia’s TurkStream gas pipeline prior to the visit of Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, in Letnitsa, Bulgaria, June 1, 2020. REUTERS/ Stoyan Nenov

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BUDAPEST, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM) has ramped up flows to Hungary via the Turkstream pipeline that brings gas to Hungary via Serbia, a Hungarian foreign ministry official said on Saturday.

EU member Hungary has maintained what it calls pragmatic relations with Moscow since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, creating tensions with some EU allies keen to have a tougher line.

Hungary, that is about 85% influenced by Russian gas, firmly opposes the thought of any EU sanctions on Russian gas imports and Prime Minister Viktor Orban in addition has lobbied hard to secure an exemption from EU sanctions on Russian crude oil imports.

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Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow last month, seeking an additional 700 million cubic meters of gas along with a preexisting long-term supply cope with Russia.

Under a subsequent agreement, Gazprom started ramping up gas flows to Hungary on Friday, Hungarian Foreign Ministry State Secretary Tamas Menczer said in a statement.

Menczer said Gazprom would add 2.6 million cubic metres of additional gas each day to previously-agreed deliveries via Turkstream through August, with the quantity of September deliveries being negotiated.

Hungary’s reserves stored 2.84 billion cubic metres of gas by the center of July, the cheapest level for that period in the last five years predicated on data by the national energy regulator.

Under a deal signed this past year, before the start of war in neighbouring Ukraine, Hungary receives 3.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas each year via Bulgaria and Serbia under its long-term cope with Russia and an additional 1 bcm with a pipeline from Austria.

The agreement with Gazprom is for 15 years, having an substitute for modify purchased quantities after 10 years.

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Reporting by Gergely SzakacsEditing by Ros Russell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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