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BRUSSELS, December 9 /TASS/. The European Union has decided to replace the Russia-frozen South Stream project with construction of LNG terminals and development of shelf deposits in the Black and Mediterranean seas, the European Commission said in a statement issued after a meeting with the energy ministers of eight EU countries /Bulgaria, Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, Italy, Greece and Romania/ involved in the South Stream project on Tuesday.
The meeting had been convened on the initiative of Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union.
The document does not contain a single figure or mentions any possible deadlines for construction or approximate volumes of necessary funding.
Integration of the gas markets calls for creation of necessary infrastructure and the use of harmonized rules for the sake of all consumers in the region /southeast Europe/. This can be achieved by implementing key regional projects such as the construction of liquefied gas /LNG/ terminals linked to the Southern gas corridor pipeline system or development and transportation of gas from offshore deposits in the Black Sea and eastern parts of the Mediterranean, the European Commission said in its statement.
In addition to that, the European Commission stressed the need to build vertical gas pipelines on the North-South axis with a possibility of bilateral gas priming. The European Union has been promoting the idea of vertical gas pipelines since 2009. It is necessary to build such pipelines to connect Bulgaria with neighboring countries.
In this context, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania adopted a separate statement on Tuesday on the need to create a “vertical gas corridor” connecting the three Balkan nations.
Meanwhile, EU countries that used to participate in the South Stream gas project and the European Commission have set up a working group to implement cross-border infrastructure gas projects.