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SOCHI, July 23 (Itar-Tass) — At a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had no doubts that the South Stream gas pipeline project would be implemented despite a crisis in Europe.
“We know that in conditions of a crisis the amount of consumption declines,” he said. “We also know that good times always come after hard times, and recovery comes after all crises,” the president stressed.
“In the middle-term prospect the amount of consumed gas will be increasing in Europe, taking into consideration, among other reasons, the fact that some consumers give up nuclear power,” the Russian leader stressed.
“On the whole, it is already clear to us who and in which amounts will buy” gas delivered through the South Stream pipeline, he said. According to the Russian president, such projects are not launched without preliminary contractual work.
Putin reminded the audience that the construction of the South Stream pipeline will begin in December 2012, and will be completed in 2015. “I am confident that this project will be implemented,” he stressed.