Gazprom increased gas supply to Hungary, official says | Hungary
Gazprom has increased its flows to Hungary via the TurkStream gas pipeline which carries gas through Bulgaria and Serbia, a Hungarian foreign ministry official said.
The Russian state-owned company began delivering more gas on Friday than it was contractually required to do, Menczer Tamás, an official with the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.
At the end of August, Gazprom would supply Hungary with an additional 2.6 million cubic meters a day, said Menczer, a member of Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party.
TurkStream, which crosses the Black Sea, is called Balkan Stream in Bulgaria, where the pipeline enters EU territory. While Russia has stopped gas deliveries to EU member Bulgaria, Sofia continues to transit Russian gas to Serbia and Hungary.
Three weeks ago, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó traveled to Moscow to discuss the purchase of an additional 700 million cubic meters of gas, becoming the only senior official from a member state of the EU to visit Russia since the end of February, with the exception of the Austrian Chancellor, Karl Nehammer, who is making a trip in April.
Hungary, which is around 85% dependent on Russian gas, has always opposed the idea of EU sanctions on Russian gas imports, and Orbán, the prime minister, has also pushed for an exemption. EU sanctions on imports of Russian crude oil.
It is the only EU member state to have flatly ruled out acting on a plan to cut gas consumption by 15% from August this year until March 2023.
In Germany, which also depends on Russian gas imports, the Economy Ministry announced on Saturday evening that the country must reduce its gas consumption by 20% to help the EU meet its 15% reduction target.
As a first step, the government has decided to lower the mandatory minimum temperature in offices in the private and public sectors by one degree to 19°C. The heating of private swimming pools, as well as the lighting of buildings or monuments “for purely aesthetic purposes”, will be prohibited. Outdoor billboards must be turned off from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The German government is also ordering gas suppliers to inform their customers of rising costs and potential measures to save money in the fall.
Natural gas accounts for approximately 27% of Germany’s overall energy mix. Before the start of the Russian war in Ukraine, just over half (55%) of the gas consumed in Germany was imported from Russia, with the government having reduced its dependence to less than 30% since.
Some German cities unilaterally announced cost-saving measures in July, with Hannover in northwestern Germany announcing plans to cut off hot water in showers and bathrooms in buildings and leisure centers managed by the city.
“We are at the dawn of a huge national effort that will require strong coordination between the state, businesses and society, between the federal administration, the states, the municipalities, the social partners, the unions, the trades and their associations, as well as civil society. “, declared the Minister of Economy, Robert Habeck. “Every effort counts”.