By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News reporting from Budapest, Hungary
“Since railway transport was impossible due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, Russians delivered nuclear fuel on a plane to Hungary again,” said Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó.
Russia also delivered nuclear fuel by air on April 7, Hungarian authorities confirmed.
Szijjártó spoke after readers of independent Hungarian media reportedly spotted a Russian airplane in Hungarian airspace despite European Union sanctions.
The minister said the aircraft of Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Airlines flew with nuclear fuel rods “through Belarus, Poland, and Slovakia to land in Hungary.”
However, Hungary’s decision to accept nuclear fuel from Russia raised questions about the personal relationship between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Orbán broke with tradition Thursday, having his first foreign trip since winning re-election to the Vatican instead of longtime ally Poland, which criticized his perceived pro-Russian policies.
The prime minister defended a decision not to cancel the expansion of Hungary’s Paks nuclear power plant, a 12.5 billion euro ($13.5 billion) deal with Russia’s energy giant Rosatom.
Hungary says the nuclear power plant in Paks provides 50 percent of Hungarian electricity production. Additionally, the country has extensive natural gas deals with Russia ensuring one of the lowest household energy prices within the EU.
Instead, Hungary wants to focus on humanitarian aid and supporting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees, he added. Orbán, a right-wing nationalist, won his fourth consecutive term in April 3 elections, making him one of the EU’s longest-ruling leaders.
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