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Brussels objects to Hungary’s nuclear deal with Russia

March 14th, 2015

In a first analysis of the objections raised by the European Commission against the Hungarian-Russian agreement on the extension of the Paks nuclear power station, a fact-finding journalist believes this does not necessarily represent a final veto, but further objections are already on the Brussels assembly line.

In 444, Péter Magyari explains first of all why a government spokesman said that the project has not been blocked by the European Commission. What Brussels has found inadmissible was Russia’s exclusive right to provide the fuel rods for the two future blocks, on the grounds that this would violate the principle of free competition. If other potential providers can be involved, Magyari says, the project can go ahead.

Further points are however also under serious scrutiny in Brussels, including the decision to seal a deal with Russia’s Rossatom without an open tender, as well as the suspicion that the price of the electric energy to be produced in Paks will be heavily subsidised by the state. Both inquiries are at a very preliminary stage at present.

Magyarí thinks Hungary will ultimately have to choose the best option from the following:


  1. Cancel the project, since Russia is short of cash anyway;
  2. Renegotiate the deal with Russia – negotiations are reportedly underway about involving Westinghouse (USA) in providing fuel rods for Paks II;
  3. Sue the European Commission in the European Court.

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