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MOSCOW, December 11. /TASS/. Germany's former chancellor Gerhardt Schroder has named EU bureaucrats and falling demand for natural gas in Europe as two main reasons for the termination of the South Stream pipeline project.
Schroder said he understands why Gazprom (the Russian gas giant which was supposed to implement the project) with support of the Russian president terminated the project. The main reason, he said, was that the EU tried to hamper with the project's implementation, at first through the Nabucco pipeline project (a gas pipeline project to transport gas from Caspian Sea to Europe to bypass Russia), which was buried in the long run because of risks it involved, than with the help of bureaucratic tricks.“Bulgaria was strong-armed or attempts were made to discourage it from making certain decisions or giving certain permissions, which worked out in the long run,” Schroeder said at a closed-door meeting of Russian and European business circles in Moscow, a recording of which TASS has obtained.
The ex-chancellor said an agreement on the construction of a new pipeline between Russia and Turkey was ‘a decision of sovereign states’ that European countries should not interfere in.
He said, however, that Russia and Gazprom gas giant would not make a mistake abandoning the European market in the long term.
Schroeder said “economic ties should not be broken off, they must be strengthened so that political relations improve”.
Vladimir Putin on December 1 said the South Stream pipeline project is closed, blaming the EU and Bulgarian authorities for failed cooperation.
South Stream was Gazprom’s global infrastructural project of a gas pipeline system with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters across the Black Sea stretching from Russia to countries of the Southern and Central Europe, including Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia and Austria.
Instead Gazprom will build a gas hub on the Turkey-Greece border under a new 63 billion cubic meter pipeline project.
THE MAIN EXPORT ROUTES OF RUSSIA’S NATURAL GAS SUPPLIES TO EUROPE. Infographics by TASS