Ukraine and Hungary summon ambassadors as fury erupts over Russia ‘weaponising’ gas supply

Gas prices: Putin ‘going to keep squeezing’ says expert

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Officials in Kyiv fear Hungary’s deal to access Russian gas poses a threat to Ukraine’s national security. Hungary has negotiated access to the TurkStream pipeline, which bypasses Ukraine in the Black Sea. And like the much-maligned Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany, the deal has sparked a great deal of backlash from Ukraine.

On Tuesday, the ambassadors of both nations were summoned to address the growing rift, which echoes a bigger conflict over gas brewing on the continent.

Ukraine has accused Hungary of undermining its national security and putting Europe’s energy security at risk.

There is a growing concern about Europe’s reliance on Russian gas, with industry insiders warning the Kremlin could intentionally withhold gas from the EU.

The brewing crisis has also led to concerns the UK could face a winter of chaos, should Russia limit the flow of gas to Europe.

Both Russia and Hungary have hit back, however, warning Kyiv not to meddle in the bilateral agreement.

Peter Szijjarto, Hungary’s Foreign Minister, said on Tuesday Ukraine’s ambassador was summoned in response to the country’s objections to the deal.

He said: “We regard it a violation of our sovereignty that Ukraine wants to block a secure gas supply for Hungary.”

According to Ukraine, the 15-year deal between Budapest and the Kremlin is a “purely political, economically unreasonable decision”.

Kyiv said it will ask the European Commission to determine whether it was in line with European energy law.

Mr Szijjarto went on to say he was “outraged” by the news.

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Similarly, Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has dismissed Ukraine’s criticism.

He said: “No one’s rights are being breached, no norms are being breached.”

Ukraine’s foreign ministry has since said it will “decisive measures” to secure its national interests.

The ministry said on Tuesday: “Gas transportation bypassing Ukraine undermines our country’s national security and Europe’s energy security.

“The Ukrainian side will take decisive measures to protect national interests.”

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According to the EU’s executive commission, member states are free to enter bilateral agreements on gas.

However, the country’s are expected to inform within three months whether the deals exceed 28 percent of annual consumption.

The Hungary-Russia deal, according to the EU, has exceeded that amount.

Under the terms of the deal, Russia’s state-owned Gazprom will ship 4.5 billion cubic metres of gas to Hungary at an annual rate.

The majority of the gas, about 3.5 billion cubic metres, will flow to Hungary via Servia, with the remainder shipped through Serbia.

The deal will go into effect on October 1.

Gas prices across the bloc have been on the rise in recent months, sparking fears of a full-blown crisis this winter.

Russia has been accused of stockpiling supplies and withholding them from the bloc, though the Kremlin has said it is prepared to increase shipments.

Since last year, gas prices have risen by more than 500 percent.

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