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Commissioner says EU stance on South Stream protected European consumers

December 02, 2014, 18:35 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
European commissioner for budget and human resources says EU never intended for the project to close but wanted it to be in line with the EU legislation and give access to other companies
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European commissioner for budget and human resources Kristalina Georgieva

European commissioner for budget and human resources Kristalina Georgieva

© EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

BRUSSELS, December 2. /TASS/. The European Union’s stance on the South Stream project protected European consumers from the risk of high gas prices, European commissioner for budget and human resources Kristalina Georgieva said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, Georgieva said the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, didn't seek to close the Russia-led project, but insisted that it should be in line with the EU legislation and give access to other companies in the interests of fair competition on the market.

A deputy chairperson of the Bulgarian parliament’s energy commission, Martin Dimitrov, said on Tuesday he anticipates “hysterics” in Bulgaria following Russia’s move to scrap the project.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said earlier on Tuesday that Russia’s decision was “bad news.” Serbia “has been investing in this project for seven years, but pays the price for the confrontation between two great /powers/,” he said.

President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Moscow would not be able to proceed with the construction of the South Stream project citing the EU’s “unconstructive position.” The Russian leader said Moscow has failed to receive permission from Bulgaria.

Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller later confirmed that the South Stream project has been closed.

The European Commission has decided on December 9 to hold a special coordinating meeting with the governments of the EU countries to discuss the South Stream issue despite Russia’s move to drop the project.

South Stream was expected to run across the Black Sea to Southern and Central Europe - Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Italy and Slovenia. Now Moscow plans to develop a “gas hub” to Southern Europe via Turkey.

Bulgaria’s annual loss of suspension of the South Stream project is estimated at €400 million.

Infographics Russian gas supplies to Europe: existing routes Russian gas supplies to Europe: existing routes

THE MAIN EXPORT ROUTES OF RUSSIA’S NATURAL GAS SUPPLIES TO EUROPE. Infographics by TASS

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