3. HUNGARY ASKS EU TO ASSIST IN RUSSIA-UKRAINE GAS ROW

Hungary obtains some 80% of its gas supply through a
pipeline from Russia, which cuts through Ukraine.

Associated Press (AP), Budapest, Hungary, Thu, December 29, 2005

BUDAPEST – Hungary Thursday asked the European Union to step in to

help resolve a dispute over gas between Russia and Ukraine which could
jeopardize Hungary’s gas imports, a government official said.

The Hungarian Ministry of Economics and Transport has written to the E.U.
energy commissioner’s office asking for help from Brussels, a ministry
official said.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine arose when Russia said it will stop
selling gas to the country unless it agrees to a fourfold price increase.
E.U. countries fear their supplies could be curtailed by Russia’s Gazprom,
the country’s state-run monopoly.

Ukraine currently pays $50 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas. Gazprom is
demanding that the price in 2006 rises to $220 to $230. Hungary obtains
some 80% of its gas supply through a pipeline from Russia, which cuts
through Ukraine.

“We are expecting some serious help from the E.U. commissioner for energy,
as this conflict is a European concern,” State Secretary Gabor Diossy told
the Associated Press. He expressed his confidence that the E.U. will come to
the rescue and assist politically as well as economically.

Hungarian households aren’t threatened by the gas dispute and “there is
enough supply for months,” Diossy said. The conflict between Russia and
Ukraine affects gas-importing countries including Hungary, Slovakia, the
Czech Republic, and Germany. -30-

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