Russia Will Build South Stream if Europe Wants to Reduce Gas Transit Risks - Minister
Russia will build the South Stream pipeline if Europe needs to diminish transit risks and secure stable gas supplies, according to Russia’s Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev.
Ulyukayev, as cited by ITAR-TASS, suggested that the South Stream gas pipeline project would only be built if European consumers wanted to reduce transit risks.
He told journalists that in the case of dropping plans to build the South Stream gas pipeline, Europe would have to take the risk of disruptions to guaranteed gas supplies.
He was adamant that that the plans to build a gas pipeline to China had nothing to do with the fulfillment of Russia’s obligations to European consumers.
Ulyukayev made clear that the matter involved natural diversification and balance of supplies, adding that Russia had enough gas for both the East and the West.
The European Commission has opposed the project, stressing that it is incompatible with the EU’s Third Energy Package.
Bulgaria suspended the construction of the local section of the pipeline after the European Commission launched an infringement procedure against the country over the lack of transparency in the selection of a contractor.
The construction of the undersea section of the South Stream gas pipeline has been scheduled to start in mid-December.
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