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The US pressures the Hungarian government to abandon the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline and the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant

Friday, November 7, 2014

After delivering a speech at Hanns Seidel Foundation Headquarters in Munich on Thursday PM Viktor Orbán answered questions from the audience.

Here are some of the highlights

Economic success can be the best defense against western media attacks on Hungary said PM Viktor Orbán replying to a question from the audience. Furthermore, the prime minister explained that due to the defense mechanism developed before 1989, the Hungarian population is "fairly well protected” against the deliberate distortions of reality by the western press.

It is a fact that since the dismemberment of the Astro-Hungarian Empire in 1914 several European countries look at Hungary with suspicion.

This situation is often upsetting and make "my job more difficult," but rather than being emotional about it the best way to handle this situation is to develop a rational attitude toward the issue and pursue the policy of economic success said the prime minister.

The United States keeps Hungary under unbearable pressure because of the government's plan to construct the South Stream gas pipeline and to expand the Paks nuclear power plant said the prime minister.

The construction of the South Stream natural gas pipeline and the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant are economic questions but they have become "geopolitical, military, and security" issues due to the Ukrainian-Russian conflict.

Washington interprets both issues as part of the Hungarian government's pro-Russian policy; "we do not want to distance ourselves from anyone, and we do not intend to get close to anybody," our policy is not "pro-Russian" but "pro-Hungarian" added the prime minister.

The South Stream gas pipeline is the southern "brother" of the Nord Stream pipeline that delivers Russian natural gas to Germany bypassing Ukraine. The successful completion of the South Stream gas pipeline is a vital Hungarian interest; after its completion gas shipments don't depend on the Ukrainian situation anymore, it diversifies natural gas supply routes.

Speaking of the Paks nuclear power plant expansion, the prime minister remarked that cheap energy is a key to economic growth. Hungary has no financial resources to support renewable energy projects like Germany.

The only way to reduce the country's dependence on external energy resources is to expand the state-owned nuclear power plant, which operates Russian technology, therefore, it makes lots of sense to expand it in collaboration with Russian companies added Orbán.

Regarding the crisis in Ukraine, PM Viktor Orbán stressed that the decisive action taken by the West was justified because of the violation of international law that can't be accepted. However, we are the ones that suffer the economic consequences of those actions; if we can't figure out a more sensible policy to solve the Ukrainian crisis the whole of Central-Europe and Germany will suffer severe economic downturn in the coming years.

The prime minister stressed the need to develop some kind of compensation for countries that are loyal to the sanctions policy, but suffer the consequences.

Hungary is interested in the creation of a democratic Ukraine positioned between Russia and Hungary because Hungary was already a neighbor of the Soviet Union, and do not want get into a similar situation again.

In the coming years Ukraine will need around € 25 billion a year to survive; someone has to pay that sum of money because the Russians won't do it. It is feared that the EU development fund for Central-Europe will be cut back in order to finance the Ukrainian economy in the coming years said PM Orbán.

(mno.hu – hungarianambiance.com)

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