BELGRADE, June 12. /TASS/. Additional consultations are necessary to clarify the commercial feasibility of the Turkish Stream project, intended to pump Russian natural gas to Europe via Turkey, European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union Maros Sefcovic said in an interview with Serbian television channel RTS.
"We need more discussions on the Turkish Stream as all the information about it we gather from press conferences while we need to know how it will affect the European energy security and whether the European legislation will be observed," Sefcovic said adding that the implementation of the project would have an impact on Ukraine.
"The existing pipeline [in Ukraine] should be preserved," he said adding that Ukraine has served as a transit route for Russian natural gas supplies to Europe for decades "even in the times of the Cold War."
"Therefore, we need to discuss the Turkish Stream in a constructive atmosphere to understand the commercial feasibility of the project and to see how it fits into the strategy of the Energy Union," he said.
Moscow sees the Turkish Stream gas pipeline as an alternative to the South Stream project, which it abandoned in December over what it said was the EU’s unconstructive approach in energy cooperation.
Russian energy giant 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.
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 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.
Last month Sefcovic announced that Europe would start receiving gas from the Caspian Sea region in 2019-2020.
Caspian gas will be supplied via a system of European gas pipelines currently under construction as part of the Southern Gas Corridor, he said.
Sefcovic said he had visited Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey last week and these countries had suggested that the European Commission should oversee the timely construction of the Southern Gas Corridor and the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline. The EU energy chief said he believed Europe would get new gas at Europe’s Greek border by 2019-2020.