Hungarian gas deliveries to Ukraine jump

By bne IntelliNews March 17, 2015

Hungary’s supplies of EU gas to Ukraine have jumped tenfold to reach a record high of 7.4mn cubic metres a day, transmission system operator Ukrtransgaz reported on March 16.

According to a statement on the Ukrainian company's website, daily deliveries increased from 720,000 cm on March 7-12 to 7.4mn cm on March 16. Hungary resumed gas supplies to Ukraine in January after halt of over three-months. In the first half of March, supply reached 52mn cm, Ukrtransgaz said.

The EU last year raised gas supplies to Ukraine via reverse flow pipelines from Hungary, Poland and Slovakia in a bid to support Kyiv and its struggling economy in the conflict with Russia. Hungary, however, suspended deliveries to Ukraine on September 25, saying it needed its pipeline capacities for increased gas imports to fill its gas storage facilities ahead of winter.

The stoppage came just days after Alexei Miller, CEO of Russian gas giant Gazprom, agreed during a visit to Budapest to raise supplies to Hungary and store some of its own gas in the country. Poland and Slovakia were complaining at the time that Russian deliveries had dropped by up to 50%.

The halt prompted criticism from Brussels and Washington, and increased international pressure on Prime Minister Viktor Orban over his perceived lean towards Moscow. In mid-February, Orban sealed a new gas deal during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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