Moscow froze the South Stream on December 1 after Bulgaria refused to give permission for the construction of the gas pipeline’s section in the Black Sea. The South Stream project involves Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Greece.
Serbian Ambassador to Russia Slavenko Terzic told TASS on Wednesday that Serbia hopes that the South Stream project will resume soon. He said Russia’s decision was unexpected for Belgrade. “On the one hand, we understand Russia’s stance; on the other hand, we hope that Russia’s decision is not final. We hope that we still have an opportunity to negotiate and reanimate this project,” Terzic said.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has described the South Stream’s suspension as bad news.During his visit to Brussels a day earlier, on Tuesday, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic called on Russia and the European Union to revise their stances on the South Stream project.
“We believe that Europe needs South Stream, which is certainly necessary and useful for Serbia,” Dacic said adding that although Serbia was not in a position to influence the decisions of major power centers he still hoped that it would be possible to find a compromise solution in future.
Greece has also expressed hope that Russia and EU would revise their South Stream stances.
“If there is an opportunity, it would be good to resume this project because the EU states always need deficit energy resources,” Spyros Kouvelis, president of the Greek-European Business Cooperation Association, told TASS.
Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said, in turn, that it was Russia’s stance, which should not surprise anybody.
THE MAIN EXPORT ROUTES OF RUSSIA’S NATURAL GAS SUPPLIES TO EUROPE. Infographics by TASS
“The Hungarian authorities, who were participants and also active advocates of the South Stream project, passed a special law early in November that allowed launching the construction bypassing the EU restrictions. For example, Hungarian lawmakers adopted amendments allowing companies, including those which did not have appropriate licenses, to be involved in the pipeline’s construction,” Szijjarto said.