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Moscow concerned that EU urges to revise South Stream agreements

February 03, 2014, 13:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“Clearly, the European Union’s legislation should not be applied retrospectively or interfere with earlier bilateral agreements,” Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said
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© ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshinsky

MOSCOW, February 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow is concerned about the European Union’s urges to revise the agreements between Russia and the South Stream member-countries, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Serbia’s Politika newspaper, which the Russian foreign ministry offers on its site.

“Favoring diversification of gas routes to Europe, South Stream is Russia’s major input in the complex energy security on the continent,” the foreign minister said. “Regarding Serbia, the project also includes big investments of up to two billion euro and new jobs.”

In this context, Russia is concerned about Brussels’ claims about “necessary revisions of the intergovernmental agreements between Russia and South Stream member countries, including Serbia, in order to adjust them to the EU Third Energy Package.”

“Clearly, the European Union’s legislation should not be applied retrospectively or interfere with earlier bilateral agreements,” Lavrov said. “The said agreements make a part of international law and cannot be revised unilaterally. We believe, our Serbian counterparts share this approach.”

Moscow, Lavrov said, continued an active dialogue with the European Commission on necessary waivers from the Third Energy Package regarding South Stream. “We suggest drawing a separate agreement with the EU, which could regulate the trans-border energy infrastructures. We have designed and passed to the EU a draft document.”

Russia and the EU have “gained quite a number of questions, including those related with implementation of the Eastern Partnership policy.” Russia “also pays attention to a lack of an adequate reaction from the EU to the situation in Ukraine, and first of where opposing groups blocked local authorities in several Ukrainian regions.” “At the Russia-EU summit on January 28, we have discussed openly a wide spectrum of issues,” Lavrov said. “Most importantly, the summit has confirmed the strategic character of the Russia-EU partnership.

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