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Russia to stay away from EU meeting on South Stream on December 9 — energy minister

December 08, 2014, 19:07 UTC+3
According to Russia's energy minister, Russia is preparing to cancel intergovernmental agreements on South Stream
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© EPA/FILIP SINGER

MOSCOW, December 8 /TASS/. Russia will stay away from an EU meeting on the South Stream project on December 9, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told journalists on Monday.

“We are not members of the European Union, and we are not planning to take part in that meeting,” Novak said.

He said that Venezuelan Oil Minister Asdrubal Chavez would visit Moscow on December 9 to discuss energy cooperation and joint Russian-Venezuelan projects. “The oil price is still a closed issue. We agreed to hold the next joint meeting with representatives of Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Mexico /on oil prices/ in the first quarter next year,” Novak added.

Energy ministers of countries involved in the South Stream project are going to meet in Brussels on December 9. According to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the project can be implemented.

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

South Stream can be built. The ball is in Russia’s court now. We are ready. Preparatory works continue, Juncker said.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov agreed with Juncker’s approach.

“We are for the South Stream. We want the South Stream to be built but built in compliance with the EU laws,” Borisov said after talks with Juncker.

According to Novak, Russia is doing preparatory work to cancel intergovernmental agreements on South Stream.

“This issue is being looked into, it is a legal problem that requires thorough preparation,” he told journalists.

On December 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that in current conditions Russia will not implement the South Stream project. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said the project was no longer topical. “The project is closed,” he told journalists, commenting on the results of the top-level Russia-Turkey talks.

The South Stream project estimated at €15.5 billion was meant to supply 67 billion cubic metres of gas a year. Now, the capacity of the Blue Stream gas pipeline that runs across the bottom of the Black Sea to Turkey is 16 billion cubic metres of gas a year. Turkey has repeatedly offered Russia to use its territory as a starting point for gas supplies to Europe.

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