Government-close media outraged by USA saying Orbán keeps Hungary in Russian gas dependence – dailynewshungary.com

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Index, a Hungarian government-close media outlet, is outraged by the Embassy of the United States due to a video they advertise on Facebook. The video focuses on how PM Orbán and his government keep Hungary in Russian gas dependence. Meanwhile, our NATO and EU allies in the region could get rid of Russian gas after Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Index has a special place in the Hungarian media market. The Hungarian government does not visibly control the public media or the TV2 TV channel. But it never publishes articles significantly harming the Hungarian government. For example, they did not write about the presidential clemency scandal resulting in the resignation of the Hungarian president and Fidesz’s no. 1 European parliamentary elections candidate, Judit Varga, until PM Orbán’s announcement days after the outbreak of the scandal. We detailed that sad story in THIS article. And HERE is another article about Péter Magyar, the ex-husband of former Justice Minister Judit Varga, who may launch a new and influential political party for the 9 June elections.

Péter Magyar. Source: FB/Péter Magyar

Orbán cabinet keeps Hungary in Russian energy dependence?

Considering all that, it is not surprising that Index now criticised the US Embassy in Budapest because one of their videos slammed the Orbán cabinet.

“FM Szijjártó is in Russia for an energy conference – his seventh trip to Russia since Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine”, they wrote above the video dealing with Hungary’s dependence on Russian gas.

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In the video, the US Embassy says the Czech Republic, Poland and Bulgaria could reduce their dependence to almost 0 by 2023. That comes after Czechia imported 80% of its gas needs from Russia, while that rate was 57% in Poland and 77% in Bulgaria. In the European Union, 49% was the rate of Russian imported gas, but it fell to 14% in 2023.

david pressman us ambassador

US Ambassador David Pressman. Source: US Embassy Budapest

Based on the US Embassy’s video, the Orbán cabinet decided to keep up the country’s dependence on Russian energy. They showed multiple articles published in the Hungarian media about how expensive the Orbán cabinet buys Russian gas. We wrote about that in THIS article. In short, Hungary has already lost hundreds of millions of euros on the Russian gas business.

“Only Hungary’s political leadership decided to keep the country in Russian energy dependence”, the embassy’s video concludes.

Expert suggests the USA would like Hungary to buy American LNG

Index asked the energy and climate department head of the Századvég, a government-close think tank. Olivér Hortay said the European Union acknowledged that separating Hungary from the Russian gas has physical obstacles. Mr Hortay believes the US embassy slammed only that statement. However, because of its advertisement, it reached many people in Hungary. And that is why Index thought they should publish a reaction.

gas energy kitchen

Hortay said it is the right of the Hungarian government to decide which country they purchase energy from. Nobody has the right to interfere in that, Hortay added. The Hungarian government continuously repeats that they want to protect their right to decide freely in different matters (gender, war, migration, etc.), highlighting that Hungary is a sovereign state.

Hortay said Poland signed contracts with American companies to substitute Russian gas. However, that business is more expensive and less environment-friendly. Czechia does the same, but they need German pipes to transmit the gas, so they even pay an extra transport fee.

Hortay said the US Embassy’s campaign serves political and business goals. They would like to convince the Hungarian government to buy American LNG. He added that American gas was more expensive than the Russian.

Orbán and Putin Russian gas

Hungary buys Russian gas. Photo: Creative Commons CC BY 4.0

Hungary tries to diversify its gas market

The expert highlighted that not only Hungary kept its Russian supporters, but also Austria. The head of the OMV, for example, said they had a long-term contract with Russia, and until the Russians deliver, they will use Moscow’s gas.

In the case of Bulgaria, experts believe their Russian gas transport to Türkiye is a trick, and this is how they also get Russian fuel.

Hortay added that the Hungarian government tried to reduce its dependence on Russia. That is why they signed contracts with Türkiye, Azerbaijan, and Qatar. Furthermore, Hungary makes an effort to increase domestic production. We wrote about MOL’s oil extraction near Budapest Airport in THIS article.

MOL Campus skyscraper Budapest

MOL Campus skyscraper. Photo: facebook.com/molcampus

To conclude, the Századvég expert claims other European countries are using Russian gas, and the Hungarian government also tries to diversify its energy import. Therefore, the US Embassy’s video exerts pressure on the Hungarian government to buy American energy. On the other hand, Hungary lost hundreds of millions of euros in the Russian gas business because the market prices decreased after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Read also:

  • Russian agents operating in Hungary identified – Read more HERE
  • Orbán cabinet gets rid of foreign competitors in this skyrocketing economy branch – Details in THIS article

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title this site

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