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Authored by Denes Albert via ReMix News,

Taking his cue from Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó’s recent visit to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, U.S. Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman used the occasion to launch yet another attack on Hungary’s conservative government.

“Hungary’s foreign minister makes his 8th trip to Russia since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Hungary’s government says it is the ‘party of peace’ while continuing to stand with Putin’s party of war. Hungary’s addiction to Russian energy is dangerous and unnecessary,” Pressman wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.

“Minister Szijjártó is right: energy diversification is not a matter of ideology but one of physics. The laws of physics in Hungary are no different than the laws of physics in every single one of Hungary’s EU partners, all of whom have chosen to reduce dependence on Putin,” Pressman concluded his post.

U.S. Ambassador to Budapest David Pressman. (MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)

Hungarian news and opinion portal Mandiner pointed out the duplicity of Pressman’s position, pointing out that “David Pressman does not seem to be bothered by the fact that America is also funding the Russian war along the same lines, since the uranium business between the U.S. and Russia is still going on behind the scenes.

The U.S. passed a bill just last month banning the purchase of uranium from Russia despite the war running for over two years, and that bill will only gradually phase out these purchases over the course of years, which means the U.S. will be supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine for years to come.

Last year, RIA Novosti, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, calculated that in the first half of 2023, the United States bought no less than 416 tons of enriched uranium from Russia during the war, 2.2 times the 188 tons bought in the previous year.

Within Europe, Russian energy continues to flow to several EU countries. LNG exports to the continent ticked back up in 2024, showing an increase of 5 percent year-over-year in Q1. The biggest importers in 2023, according to DW News, were France, Spain and Belgium.

Austria has also been in the spotlight, with OMV Group contracting with Russia’s Gazprom until 2040.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron has worked hard to ensure Russian titanium sanctions never come to pass, as such sanctions will harm his own country’s domestic producers, in particular in the aeronautics industry, according to a recent Reuters report.

Notably, Hungary also has plans to phase out its reliance on Russian energy over the coming years and has already reduced its dependence. For instance, Hungary’s solar power industry is growing by leaps and bounds and now produces 18 percent of the country’s energy needs. However, Hungary faces a number of challenges that make it far more difficult than the U.S. to transition away from Russian energy — and not just due to Hungary’s geographic proximity to Russia.

For one, Hungary’s entire infrastructure is geared to process Russian oil, and switching refineries to refine other types of oil takes time and money. Secondly, Hungary lacks other sources of domestic energy that the United States has easy access to, including large deposits of natural gas, coal and oil. Even with the U.S.’s enormous natural resources and technological advantage over countries like Hungary, the U.S. still relies on Russian uranium to an enormous degree, as the U.S. has more nuclear energy plants than any nation in the world.

Finally, Hungary lacks the ports to receive large shipments of liquified natural gas from other countries without incurring large transit fees through other nations.

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