Putin: No Chance of Reviving South Stream Project
There is no chance of reviving the South Stream pipeline construction project after Moscow was not allowed to implement it, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed.
"We have not abandoned the South Stream project, we were not allowed to implement it. There are some details, which are known for a long time now, but, I guess, I should say it again. In April last year the European parliament made a decision in accordance to which the South Stream was considered unpromising, and even harmful for the European Union. After this, the European Commission sent a letter to Bulgaria, urging it to stop all the preparatory work," he said Tuesday.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Putin emphasized that Russia will not give up its cooperation with Turkey on the construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline, launched after the South Stream project was scrapped. The Russian president added that Russia is ready to cooperate with the European Union on gas transit via the new pipeline, but everything depends on the European Commission. When commenting on Russian-Hungarian cooperation in the energy sector, Putin said that Moscow will give a positive response to Budapest's requests in this field after 2015, including with regard to the usage of gas storage facilities. Speaking alongside Putin on Tuesday, the Hungarian prime minister said his country remains "fully committed" to continue investments despite the fact that South Stream has been scrapped.
Russian energy giant Gazprom and its Turkish partner Botas have already mapped out the route of the new pipeline, dubbed Turkish Stream, with an inter-governmental agreement expected to be inked in the second quarter of 2015. The pipeline's first leg is scheduled to be constructed by the end of 2016.