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VIENNA, June 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Commission may back Russia's South Stream gas project, European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger said.
The project violates European legislation, Oettinger said on Monday. If violations are removed, the European Commission may uphold the project, he confirmed.
Oettinger said the EU and Russia will resume talks on the South Stream gas project at the first opportunity. The issue of the South Stream project will be raised at the talks with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak at the earliest opportunity, he said.
The European Commission is planning to discuss Russia’s lawsuit with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the EU over the Third Energy Package, he added.
On June 9, Bulgaria said it suspended preparation works on the construction of its section of the South Stream on EU orders, while Serbia said that it will have to postpone the laying of the pipeline as well after Bulgaria’s decision. Later both countries said that their governments have not changed their plans to lay the pipeline.
The South Stream pipeline will carry Russian gas to the EU bypassing Ukraine. Gas will be pumped to the Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Varna before extending overland through Serbia, Hungary, and Slovenia to supply gas to the Western Europe via Italy and Austria. The pipeline’s capacity amounts to 63 billion cubic meters.