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Hungary halts gas sale to Ukraine on Russia fears

Staff writer |
Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Hungary could not risk a halt to Russian gas supplies as it froze deliveries to Ukraine amid threats by Moscow.

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"Hungary cannot get into a situation in which, due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, it cannot access its required supply of energy," Mr. Orban said on state radio.

Hungary's gas pipeline network operator FGSZ said it had indefinitely suspended gas supply to neighbouring Ukraine for technical reasons, a move branded "unexpected and unexplained" by Ukraine state-owned gas firm Naftogaz.

Mr. Orban's statement followed a warning by Moscow that it could cut off European countries have been re-exporting gas to Ukraine to help Kiev through its latest energy war with Moscow.

The threat came as energy chiefs gathered in Berlin for EU-mediated talks aimed at halting a Russian gas supply cut to Ukraine that could leave parts of the war-scarred nation without heat this winter.

The European Commission rapped EU member Hungary for cutting of so-called reverse flow supplies to Ukraine.

"The message from the commission is very clear - we expect all member states to facilitate reverse flows as agreed by the European Council in the interest of a shared energy security," said European Commission spokeswoman Helene Banner in Brussels.

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