Der Untergang / Happy Putin

Orbán doesn’t even get cheap gas from Putin

He just allowed Orbán to pay the market price after the elections.

It has been the story that Putin is boosting Orbán by letting him get gas cheaper than Europe. Gas prices are a secret (like that’s normal) so we had no chance to check those claims. Until this week when journalists spotted that Hungary staerted paying the market price for gas – in what looks like deferred payment, designed to only kick in after the all-important elections.

It is almost an overkill since Orbán’s voters would never have heard of it if the gas was expensive and we knew it. He can lie whatever he wants as there is no way for the truth to catch up with him in the eyes of the fragmented and disoriented public opinion. But they did it anyway. Putin didn’t give Orbán cheap gas – but he allowed him to defer payment until after the elections.

After his shameful visit to Moscow in February, before Putin attacked Ukraine, Orbán claimed that he managed to get gas for one-fifth of the market price from Putin. (He also claimed that it was a “peace mission” – but only after the war broke out.)

The traditionally secret (why???) 10+5-year gas delivery contract between the two countries has been signed last September, when Putin was already plotting the invasion. The government then said it was a great deal. In February, Orbán claimed that he even negotiated a cut.

According to the data of the national statistical office, however, Hungary has paid exactly the market price for gas in January 2022. They just haven’t updated the data before the elections.

The energy price effect will now add to the economic Armageddon Orbán prepared by the mother of all election giveaways, and transferring all available funds to crony-owned asset management entities to sweep the budget clean.


It raises the question if sucking up to Putin doesn’t even get you slightly cheaper gas – what it is for? Who benefits and how? Does anyone benefit at all – or is it just pure blackmail by Putin. The latter looks likely. In his imperial daydreams he doesn’t negotiate – he only dictates from the position of blackmail.

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