EU Commission to Continue Talks on Finding Solution on South Stream
The European Commission said on Tuesday it will continue talks on South Stream with EU member states despite Russia’s announcement that it has abandoned the gas pipeline project.
"The next meeting had been planned for the 9th of December and it will take place regardless of the announcement by Russia to stop the project," the EU’s Commission Vice President for Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic, said in a statement.
He added that the project “has been regularly discussed between the relevant member states and the Commission", and that the Commission has hosted several meetings “aimed at finding a solution to this project that would fully comply with the EU legislation."
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said on Monday during a visit to Turkey that Moscow was abandoning the project due to regulatory objections by the European Commission.
According to the Commission, the project designed to carry Russian gas across the Black Sea and via Bulgaria to southern and central Europe, bypassing Ukraine, doesn’t comply with the EU’s Third Energy Package that requires giving access to competitors.
"Obviously this new development will be an additional element that will be discussed in that meeting," Sefcovic said.
“The ever changing energy landscape in the EU is yet another reason for the EU to build a resilient Energy Union with a forward looking climate policy. One of the priorities for the Energy Union will be security of energy supply."
According to Christian Egenhofer, a senior fellow at Brussels-based think tank Centre for European Policy Studies, Putin’s announcement might be interpreted “as a threat against Bulgaria” and an attempt to pressure Sofia to offer favourable terms to Russian gas giant Gazprom, which was spearheading the project.
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