Russia, EC to Set Up Task Force on South Stream

Business » ENERGY | January 17, 2014, Friday // 16:41| Views: 1235 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Russia, EC to Set Up Task Force on South Stream A welder joins two pipes during the ceremony for the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline in a field north of Belgrade marked the ceremonial start of construction work in Serbia, 24 November 2013. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Moscow and Brussels are to set up a task force to discuss all the legal and technical issues, relating to the South Stream project, according to Russia's Energy Ministry.

According to the media statement, as cited by ITAR-TASS, and the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), an agreement was reached on the matter on Friday during talks between Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger.

In early December 2013, Marlene Holzner, Spokesperson for EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, announced that the agreements between Russia and six EU Member States, including Bulgaria, on the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline, were not in line with EU law.

The EC suggested that the EU countries had to renegotiate the agreements with Russia because otherwise they faced infringement proceedings.

The EC proposed that the renegotiation take place on a bilateral basis, adding that it was ready to assist the EU Member States in the process.

On December 18, Bulgaria officially authorized the EC to conduct talks on its behalf on changes to the agreements on the South Stream gas pipeline.

Meanwhile, Russia sent a letter to the EC, responding to the requirements concerning the South Stream project.

Russia's Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky insisted that the disagreements between Russia and the EU regarding the different stances on the agreement with Gazprom on the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline had to be resolved in line with international law.

On December 5, Russia's Energy Ministry received an official letter from the EU on the clashes of the bilateral South Stream agreements with the provisions of the EU Third Energy Package.

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Tags: South Stream gas pipeline, European Commission, Gunther Oettinger, EU law, Third Energy Package, bilateral agreements, EU member states
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