As Russia, forced to withdraw from its long-anticipated South Stream, announced its new Turkish Stream initiative, Hungary took the opportunity of strengthening energy ties with Moscow.
During his last visit to Budapest, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a number of important agreements in the energy sphere with Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Experts stressed that the meeting took place amid growing tensions between the West and Russia, aggravated by the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine. It should be mentioned that Russia is Hungary's largest trade partner, supplying the state with almost 80 percent of its oil and 70 percent of its natural gas. Facing strong criticism from Brussels and the EU's member states for his close cooperation with Russia, Viktor Orban, however, welcomed a chance to give his support to the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline.
According to the Kremlin, Russia will be guided by considerations of logistics, seeking more profitable ways of delivering its resources to European states while implementing the Turkish Stream project. A section of the Stream passing Turkey will be expanded to Hungary, and can go to Serbia, Austria and other European countries that will demonstrate their interest in cooperation.
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