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Sanctions on Russia no obstacle to South Stream — ambassador to EU

August 01, 2014, 16:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom sees the South Stream project plans to pipe gas across the floor of the Black Sea to Bulgaria and then ashore for onward transit to Greece, Italy and Austria
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© AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel

MOSCOW, August 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s ambassador to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Friday he saw no obstacles to implementing the South Stream underwater gas pipeline project from Russia to Bulgaria over Europe's latest round of sanctions.

“I can say that the new package of sanctions says nothing about the gas sphere,” Chizhov told a video conference in Brussels.

“The South Stream is being built as scheduled,” he said, adding that bilateral agreements concluded with countries participating in the project were still in force.

“I see no obstacles (to the project’s implementation) as of today,” the diplomat said.

Nothing can substitute for the Russian gas in the world market in the foreseeable future, ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said.

The diplomat said that shale gas in the United States was “not for sale yet”, while the country’s only one LNG export facility was unable to meet Europe’s demand for gas.

“The European Union does a lot to increase its energy efficiency,” he said. “Russia has a corresponding program, and we exchange experience”.

Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom sees the South Stream project plans to pipe gas across the floor of the Black Sea to Bulgaria and then ashore for onward transit to Greece, Italy and Austria as a means to diversify natural gas supplies to Europe and to reduce dependence on transit countries.

The pipeline's 900-kilometre seabed section will run from Russkaya compressor station in Russia to the Bulgarian coast at Varna at a maximum depth of more than two kilometres. The section’s designed capacity is 63 billion cubic metres and was scheduled for commissioning by the end of 2015.

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