The next couple of winters may be cold, and natural gas may be scarce in Western Europe should Ukraine terminate a gas transit deal with Russia when it expires in 2024.
And while it may seem bizarre to consider that a natural gas transit agreement indeed is still honored between two countries bitterly at war, Hungary apparently need not worry, as Serbia—itself reliant on Russian gas—has now stated that if worse comes to worse, it will keep Hungary supplied.
Following meetings between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Hungary stated that Serbia will supply gas to Hungary if the deal is ended, according to Polish news website Onet.pl.
How much gas would be supplied was not said, although it was implied that shortfalls would be made up by shipments of gas from Serbia.
In fact, Serbia has long been dependent of Russian gas and oil—and it has been under pressure from the EU and the US to join in sanctions against Russia in light of the war in Ukraine. Vucic has instead refused sanctions while ostensibly sticking to an eventual EU access path. That said, he has also played up his friendship with Orban, who has also refused to go along with EU countries that have joined in on Russian sanctions.
Photo of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban by European People’s Party, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.