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Hungary signs new energy deal with Russia, defies EU

In a move that has surprised and confounded some European leaders, Hungary has signed new agreements with Russia to ensure continued access to Russian energy. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto made the announcement at a news briefing in Moscow, where he revealed that Russian state energy company Gazprom has agreed to allow Hungary to import quantities of natural gas beyond what was agreed to in a long-term contract that was amended last year.

The gas will reach Hungary through the Turkstream pipeline, and the price will be capped at €150 per cubic meter. The agreement will also allow Hungary to pay down gas purchases on a deferred basis if market prices go above that level. This move solidifies Hungary's diplomatic and trade ties with Moscow, which have caused some concern among European leaders in light of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Szijjarto's trip to Moscow was unusual for an official from a European Union (EU) country. Most EU members have sought to wean their countries off Russian fossil fuels and distance themselves from President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine. However, the Hungarian government has lobbied heavily in the EU to be exempted from any sanctions imposed on Russian gas, oil, or nuclear fuel. It has even threatened to veto proposed EU actions against Moscow.

This new energy deal between Hungary and Russia is likely to raise eyebrows among EU leaders and add to the tension between Hungary and its European partners. The move also highlights the challenges that the EU faces in developing a unified and consistent approach to Russia in light of the complex and competing interests of its member states

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