South Stream Offshoot to Crimea 'Possible' - Russian Minister
The South Stream gas pipeline could have a ramification to the Crimean peninsula, Oleg Savelyev, Minister of Crimean Affairs, announced.
Savelyev, who is in charge of the territory which was incorporated into Russia i March, was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that a section pumping gas into Crimea could be constructed in 2016, after the underwater part of the pipeline is finished the year before.
Citing documents handed to him by the Energy Ministry, he announced it has already been envisaged that gas pipes should pass through the peninsula and that they are most likely to be part of South Stream.
He underscored that would not change the main route of the pipeline and that Gazprom will be fully in charge of expenses covering the additional thread.
New government plans are part of Moscow's attempts to provide supplies to Crimea after it absorbed the former autonomous Ukrainian region.
In April 2014, Russian media reports suggested that some parts of the South Stream could also go through Crimea.
The likelihood of such decision was then surprisingly confirmed by Bulgarian Deputy Economy Minister Ivan Ayolov, but Russian government officials made no official response to those claims.
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