World: Russia's Putin, Hungary's Orban to discuss TurkStream pipeline, nuclear energy - - PressFrom - US
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World Russia's Putin, Hungary's Orban to discuss TurkStream pipeline, nuclear energy

06:20  30 october  2019
06:20  30 october  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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The TurkStream pipeline that would bring gas to Central Europe bypassing Ukraine and nuclear energy issues are expected to feature high on the agenda at a Right-wing conservative leader Orban , in power since 2010, has pursued what he has hailed as good pragmatic relations with Russia .

Bulgaria is considering joining Russia ' s TurkStream 2 pipeline proposal and, according to the country' s Ministry of Energy , is ready to invest €1.4 billion (.6 billion) in the project. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is set to travel to the country next week, where he is expected to discuss

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - The TurkStream pipeline that would bring gas to Central Europe bypassing Ukraine and nuclear energy issues are expected to feature high on the agenda at a meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Viktor Orban wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Russian President Putin greets Hungarian PM Orban during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow© Reuters/POOL FILE PHOTO: Russian President Putin greets Hungarian PM Orban during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow

Right-wing conservative leader Orban, in power since 2010, has pursued what he has hailed as good pragmatic relations with Russia. Some analysts, however, say the relationship is lop-sided, with Russian interests dominating.

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Russia ' s Vladimir Putin and Hungary ' s Viktor Orban are to meet on Tuesday. They both are nationalistic strongmen with a dislike for western liberalism. Orban also became a proponent of the South Stream pipeline and angrily accused Brussels of sabotaging the project when it was scrapped

Russia and Hungary agreed on the parameters for Russian gas supplies for 2020, Viktor Orban stated after the talks with Vladimir Putin , also noting that he had asked the Russian President to consider extending the TurkStream gas pipeline to Hungary . "It is no secret that when the pipeline

A source familiar with the agenda of Putin's visit said one of the goals was to agree on the TurkStream pipeline.

"Putin has to agree with all the countries involved, so that there wouldn't be any troubles with the pipeline," the source said, declining to be named.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told Reuters that TurkStream should be constructed as soon as possible in Bulgaria because that would open up an additional delivery route to Hungary, which is reliant on Russian gas shipments.

The current gas transit agreement between Moscow and Kiev expires after Dec. 31 and Russia and Ukraine are under increasing pressure to sign a new deal, although this faces several obstacles.

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Russia also holds sway over Hungary when it comes to gas and nuclear power. Energy projects high on the agenda. Hungary is reliant on Russia for most of its gas, a dependence likely to increase when Russia ' s Gazprom state gas company completes the Turkstream pipeline that runs under the

TurkStream is a natural gas pipeline running from the Russian Federation to Turkey. It runs from Russkaya compressor station near Anapa in Russia ' s Krasnodar Region, crossing the Black Sea and ending at Kıyıköy on the Turkish Thrace coast, where it connects to other pipelines .

Russia plans to launch the first part of the TurkStream pipeline, with annual capacity of 15.75 billion cubic metres, by the end of the year to supply Turkish domestic customers. The second part, with the same capacity, is expected to run from Bulgaria to Serbia and Hungary.

The talks on Wednesday will also cover future gas deliveries to Hungary, which already has its gas storage full for the coming winter.

Hungary has annual gas consumption of around 10 billion cubic metres and has almost 6.5 billion cubic metres of gas stored now, Szijjarto told a news conference on Tuesday.

"Here and now I reject all western European criticism regarding our cooperation with Russia in the field of energy," he said, adding that Hungary had to rely on Russia for its gas as there were no alternative options.

He also said Russian oil producer Lukoil and Hungarian MOL will sign a settlement deal over contaminated oil, which disrupted oil exports from Russia to the West this year.

Orban's government has promoted Moscow's interests within the European Union, calling for the ending of economic sanctions imposed after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

But Hungary has never vetoed the sanctions, and Szijjarto has said Hungary would not veto an extension of sanctions if the EU decided at the end of 2019 to prolong them.

In 2014, Budapest also signed a deal for two new reactors at its Paks nuclear plant with Russia, to be built by state atomic energy firm Rosatom and funded with a 10 billion euro loan from Russia. It will be owned and operated by the Hungarian state.

But the project has been stalled for years and will likely be discussed on Wednesday.

(Writing by Krisztina Than, editing by Ed Osmond)

Diplomat testified that Putin, Orban poisoned Trump's views on Ukraine .
Senior State Department official George Kent told House investigators that Trump's views on Ukraine changed after conversations with the leaders of Russia and Hungary.George Kent, a senior State Department official responsible for Europe, told House investigators that Putin and Orban, along with Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, had "shaped the president's view of Ukraine and (President Volodymyr) Zelenskiy." He said Trump's conversations with the two leaders accounted for the change in Trump's view of Zelenskiy from "very positive" after their first call on April 21 to "negative" just one month later when he met with advisers on Ukraine in the Oval Office.

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