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European energy chief wants Russia to agree Turkish pipeline plan with EU

March 17, 2015, 16:37 UTC+3 LONDON
EU Energy Chief Maros Sefcovic also voiced concern over a possibility that the existing routes via Ukraine might be switched off in favor of the proposed Turkish Stream
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© AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic

LONDON, March 17. /TASS/. Russia should consult with the European Union on its plans to transport natural gas through Turkey, EU Energy Chief Maros Sefcovic said on Tuesday, news agency Reuters reported.

"When we speak about some big supplies for European customers, you cannot adopt such a decision [on Russian gas supplies through Turkey] without talking to them, without talking to the EU and without talking to the European Commission," Reuters quoted Sefcovic as saying at a press briefing in Ankara on Monday evening.

During his visit to Turkey, the European Commission's Vice-President for Energy Union said no details on the Russian proposal had been received and any plans should be economically viable and consistent with Gazprom's obligations to its long-term European customers.

Sefcovic also voiced concern over a possibility that the existing routes via Ukraine might be switched off in favor of the proposed Turkish Stream.

"If all this should just change like that, I don't think this is ordinary procedure and that this is how such a big client like the EU should be treated," Sefcovic said.

Gazprom and Turkey’s Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding on December 1, 2014, envisaging the construction of a gas pipeline across the Black Sea to Turkey.

The Turkish Stream gas pipeline will have a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, of which 50 billion cubic meters will be supplied to a new gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border.

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.

Infographics Russia's gas pipelines to Europe by 2018 Russia's gas pipelines to Europe by 2018

Russia's gas giant Gazprom intends to completely abandon gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine after 2018 with the help of a new pipeline to Turkey. Infographics by TASS

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.

The Turkish Stream gas pipeline will run 660 km (410 miles) along the old corridor of the South Stream project abandoned by Russia and 250 km (155 miles) in the new corridor towards Turkey’s European part.

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