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South Stream built first of all for European consumers, minister says

June 10, 2014, 21:20 UTC+3 GENEVA
On June 2, the European Commission announced its plans to suspend the South Stream project in EU countries, first of all in Bulgaria
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Alexei Ulyukayev

Alexei Ulyukayev

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

GENEVA, June 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Minister for Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev expects the situation around suspended construction of the South Stream gas pipeline will be settled, saying this is against the interests of European consumers.

“The South Stream is first of all in the best interests of European consumers,” the minister told a news conference on Tuesday.

On June 2, the European Commission announced its plans to suspend the South Stream project in EU countries, first of all in Bulgaria, saying it contravened the norms of the Third Energy Package.

Besides, the European Commission (EC) suspected Bulgaria of favouring Russian and Bulgarian bidders in the tender for South Stream construction, Sabine Berger, spokeswoman for EU Energy Commissioner Gunter Oettinger, said.

Berger's statement followed hard on heels of the statement to the European Commission by Ukraine's parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. He urged the EU to block South Stream claiming that Ukraine was a reliable transit country, which had been meeting its obligations.

South Stream is an infrastructure project of the Russian gas holding Gazprom, a direct pipeline with a 63 billion cubic meters capacity through the Black Sea to Europe bypassing Ukraine, thus guaranteeing uninterrupted Russian gas export supplies.

Russia’s Gazprom gas giant implements the South Stream project to diversify supplies of natural gas to Europe and to reduce dependence on transit countries. South Stream Transport B.V is an international joint venture established for planning, construction and servicing of a sea gas pipeline that will run on the Black Sea floor. Gazprom’s stake in the joint venture is 50%, while Italian Eni has a 20% stake. French EDF and German Wintershall Holding GmbH have 15% each. First supplies are planned in 2015.

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