MOSCOW, January 21. /TASS/. Moscow expects that the Turkish Stream gas project will be implemented and will help enhance Europe’s energy security, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference on the results of 2014 on Wednesday.
“We expect it to be realized and help enhance Europe’s energy security, therefore freeing it from problem transit states,” Lavrov said.
The problem with the South Stream gas pipeline project is closed, the Russian foreign minister said, adding Russia could no longer honor its obligations under the project while its European partners largely made only promises.
“An alternative project has been proposed - the so-called Turkish Stream - and it has already evoked interest in Europe,” Lavrov said, adding specific discussions on the project were currently under way.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on December 1 that the project to build the South Stream gas pipeline was closed due to the European Union’s unconstructive approach to cooperation in that sphere, including Bulgaria’s decision to stop the construction of the pipeline’s stretch on its territory.Instead, Russia will build a gas pipeline to Turkey where a gas hub on the border with Europe will be created, Putin said.
South Stream was Gazprom's global infrastructure project designed to build a gas pipeline with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters across the Black Sea to Southern and Central Europe in order to diversify natural gas export routes and eliminate transit risks.
The South Stream’s overland part was expected to run across Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria with a gas metering station at Tarvisio, Italy, as its terminus.
The South Stream gas project envisaged the pipeline’s offshoots to Croatia and the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The South Stream gas project was estimated at 16 billion euros and the first gas deliveries were expected to start in late 2015.
The construction of the Bulgarian stretch was launched on October 31, 2013. However, the European Commission later started an anti-monopoly probe into the South Stream project, saying it contradicted the norms of the Third Energy Package.