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Hungary accuses Ukraine of interfering in its internal affairs

Hungary accused Ukraine of attempting to interfere in their internal affairs on Monday. It was a reaction to the statement of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry regarding the new long-term agreement between Budapest and Gazprom for gas supplies bypassing Ukraine.

“It is our business to provide Hungary with heating in winter. No other country can influence our choices. It should not be any third party’s business what kind of agreements Hungary seals. I do not remember that we have ever reproached Ukraine for concluding a deal with other partners,” said the head of Hungarian diplomacy, Péter Szijjártó at a press conference in Budapest.

The Hungarian minister expressed deep regret that Ukraine did not want a meeting of the joint Hungarian-Ukrainian economic commission to be held on Thursday.

“I do not quite understand the relationship between the fact that we provide Hungary with the security of energy supplies and the fact that we normally cooperate with our neighbours,” he added.

Mr Szijjártó stated that since it is Gazprom who has gas, not Hungary, the situation is quite unequal. He went on to say that the security of Hungary’s energy supply is not subject to compromise and that Budapest “will buy gas from where they distribute it.”

“I suggest to Ukrainian friends that we return to the ground of normality, mutual respect and prudence, and let us not mix up unrelated matters,” he pointed out, adding that if Ukraine changes its mind on the bilateral commission by Thursday, then, Budapest will cordially invite the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kuleba.

On Monday, Hungary signed a long-term gas supply contract with Russia. The agreement is valid for 10 years with an option to extend the deal for another 5 years. Gazprom is to deliver gas to Hungary via two routes: via Serbia and Austria.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement that Kiev was surprised and disappointed with Hungary’s decision. The ministry stressed that Ukraine considers it “a purely political, economically unjustified decision made to please the Kremlin and to the detriment of Ukraine’s national interests and Ukrainian-Hungarian relations.”

The ministry also announced the postponement of the meeting of the Ukrainian-Hungarian intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation, which was to be held on September 29-30 in Budapest.

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