BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's foreign minister says his country "cannot afford not to talk to Russia" about ensuring gas supplies.
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told The Associated Press Thursday that because of the cancellation of two natural gas pipeline projects, Nabucco and South Stream, "the only way to ensure energy security in Hungary is to negotiate with the Russians."
Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Hungary on Tuesday and Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said that negotiations about a new gas contract would top the agenda.
Szijjarto said 85 percent of Hungary's gas supplies come from Russia. Hungarian households and industries are highly reliant on natural gas.
Szijjarto also said that while Hungarian exports had suffered from the European Union's sanctions on Russia, Hungary would continue to back the EU position.