BERLIN, December 9. /TASS/. German Vice-Chancellor, Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday he was hopeful that the South Stream gas project would be implemented.
“It would be good for all Europe if the project ‘did not die’,” Gabriel said.
“One should hope that when relations between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union stabilize it (South Stream) will become the subject for discussions again,” DPA News Agency quoted the minister as saying.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on December 1 that in the current conditions, Russia could not begin the implementation of the South Stream project.
“Bearing in mind the fact that we have not yet received Bulgaria’s permission, we think Russia is such conditions cannot continue this project. I mean we are to begin the construction of the pipeline system in the Black Sea. We cannot begin the construction of the seabed section until we have Bulgaria’s permit,” Putin said.
The construction of Bulgaria’s section of the South Stream pipeline was launched on October 31, 2013. However, later the European Commission started an anti-monopoly investigation into the South Stream project that run counter to the norms of the EU Third Energy Package.