On Tuesday, Hungary signed new agreements aimed at importing energy from Russia, which will give Hungary access to import more natural gas than previously agreed.

The agreements are a sign of the Hungarians’ diplomatic and commercial ties to Russia that have continued during the Ukraine war and that have stunned some European leaders, writes the Associated Press (AP).

The agreements were concluded during a visit by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto to Moscow, a form of high-level contact that other EU countries avoid.

The price of the gas, which would reach Hungary through the Turkstream pipeline, would be capped at 150 euros ($163) per cubic metre, Szijjarto said. This is part of the agreement that will allow Hungary to pay down gas purchases on a deferred basis if market prices go above that level.

Hungary’s government therefore confirms its opposition to EU sanctions against Russia.

The Hungarian government has lobbied heavily in the EU to be exempted from any sanctions imposed on Russian gas, oil or nuclear fuel, and has also threatened to veto proposed EU actions against Moscow.

“As long as the issue of energy supply is a physical issue and not a political or ideological one, like it or not, Russia and cooperation with Russia will remain crucial for Hungary’s energy security,” Szijjarto said.

During his visit to Moscow, the Hungarian foreign minister also met Russia’s deputy energy minister Alexander Novak, AP writes.

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