The long-term gas supply contracts signed recently between Hungary and Russia allow Budapest to receive Russian gas at a price that is five times lower than European market prices, Russia’s TASS news agency quoted Vladimir Putin as saying. The statement was made by the Russian president during Tuesday’s marathon meeting held behind closed doors with Hungary’s premier at the Kremlin, the V4 news agency reported.

During the talks, Mr Putin also noted that the signing of gas contracts until 2036 was the primarily the result of Viktor Orban’s work. The stability of Hungary’s gas supply is secured, he added. Referring to the Hungarian-Russian nuclear power plant development project in Hungary, he said the energy issue is of great importance in the cooperation between the two countries.

The Russian press highlighted that at the press conference following the meeting, President Putin stated that raising the annual gas supplied to Hungary by 1 billion cubic metres does “not pose a problem” for Russia. On the issue of dwindling amounts in European gas reserves, he predicted that next year the country’s European partners will “probably have problems.” However, Hungary won’t, because “we will agree on future gas supply quantities,” Putin said, referring to the additional one billion cubic metres per year secured by Hungary.