Under the agreement, Hungary has pledged to buy 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas each year from the Russian energy giant over a period of at least ten years, Péter Szijjártó said at the signing ceremony on Monday. Hungary will have the opportunity to modify the amount purchased after ten years, he added. Gazprom will deliver 3.5 billion cubic meters via the Serbian-Hungarian interconnector which is slated to start operation on Oct. 1, and the remaining one billion cubic meters via Austria, he added. The price is significantly lower than what has been paid up to now based on an agreement signed in 1995, and will contribute to “maintaining the achievements of the utility price cuts, and Hungarian consumers will continue to pay one of the lowest prices in the European Union,” Szijjártó said. Energy security has always been a key strategic and national security issue in central Europe, Szijjártó said. Natural gas has a key role in this regard in Europe as well as in Hungary, he said. The EU received 48% of its gas supply form Gazprom last year, he said.