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UPDATED: 10:37, March 01, 2006
Putin says Hungary could be Europe's gas distribution hub
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said here on Tuesday that Hungary could become a gas distribution hub for all of Europe.

Russia will continue to be a reliable and responsible supplier of gas for Hungary and for all of Europe, and will continuously increase the amount of gas delivered, said Putin who is on a two-day visit to Hungary.

Russia was looking at new ways to ship gas in face of increasing demand, said the president, adding that one possibility would be to extend an existing pipeline to Turkey to southern Europe.

In addition to a plan to lengthen the pipe running under the Black Sea into southern Europe, it would also be possible to build one running northward, under the Baltic Sea, he added.

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany said he and Putin had discussed the possibility of Hungary becoming a center for delivering Russian gas supplies to Europe.

"We agreed to work out a programme this year to ensure Hungary will have access to this new pipeline and be a European center for gas coming from the south," he said.

Most of Eastern Europe is dependent on Russian energy supplies.

Source: Xinhua

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