U.S. warns Hungary off buying Russian Turk Stream gas

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has told Hungary to reject Russian gas pipelines, including one joint project with Turkey, saying they are being used by Moscow to dominate Eastern Europe.

“Russia is using a pipeline project Nord stream 2 and a multi-line Turkish stream to try to solidify its control over the security and the stability of Central and eastern Europe,” Reuters quoted Perry as saying during a visit to Budapest.

Moscow had a history of using energy supply as a foreign policy weapon, so energy diversification was crucial, Perry said.

Construction of the Turk Stream lines began in 2017, and its two lines aim to begin pumping by the end of next year, eventually pumping as much as 31.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, half of which is expected to be sold to Turkish markets.

The construction of Turk Stream will be good news for Hungary, said Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, since it will provide an alternative supply through the south of the country, which currently receives its gas from Ukraine.

Hungary buys most of its gas from Russia, but the United States wishes to encourage it to buy more gas from other sources, Reuters reported.

Besides the United States, possible suppliers could include Croatia, which is building a liquefied natural gas terminal, and Romania, said the report.