Turkish Stream Can’t Be Substitute for Ukraine’s Gas Transit System – EU Energy Chief
It would have been better if a broader discussion had taken place on the potential replacing of Ukraine by Turkey as a transit country for Russian gas supplies to Europe, the EU energy chief has opined.
This is particularly true when the European Union - Gazprom's most important customer - is concerned, European Commissioner for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic said in an interview for Russian media outlet RBK on Monday.
Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller informed Sefcovic, who visited Moscow last week, that after 2020 Ukraine will no longer be included in the transit route for Russian gas. Thus, Turkish Stream will permanently substitute South Stream.
Sefcovic said he was quite surprised by Miller’s statement, explaining that as “the biggest importer of energy in the world” paying EUR 400B a year for energy supplies the EU should at least have been consulted about the shift in Russia’s position on South Stream.
Sefcovic said that at the meeting with Miller he appealed for a rational and practical approach to resolving the issue, as Turkey needs 14-15 billion cubic meters (bcm) annually, while Southeastern Europe needs 10-15 bcm.
Miller said in December the Turkish Stream project would have the same capacity as South Stream – 63 bcm a year.
The EU energy chief added that the EU will be gathering the countries in Southeast Europe for a discussion on the substitution of South Stream. An invitation will also be extended to the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.
Additionally, the strategy for the creation of the European Energy Union will be publicly presented in February this year. The meeting is reportedly going to take place in Sofia, according to Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
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