BRUSSELS, January 12. /TASS/. European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic, who is to visit Moscow on January 14, said on Monday he planned to clarify Russia’s position on the South Stream project.
He said after a meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov that it would be his first visit to Moscow in the capacity of European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union and in this capacity he would be interested to once again clarify Russia’s position on South Stream. Sefcovic said he had already had a telephone conversation on that matter with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who had confirmed Russia’s abandonment of the South Stream project.
Problems with the construction of the South Stream pipeline began after Brussels in 2012 had initiated an investigation into the project’s compliancy with the Third Energy Package, which, among other things, bound the Russian side to reserve up to 50% of the capacity of the would-be South Stream pipeline for independent gas producers. When Russia refused to abide by these requirements, the European Commission literally compelled Bulgaria to block the pipeline’s construction. Being unable to begin the construction of the seabed section of the pipeline across the Black Sea, Russia abandoned this project and decided to build a gas pipeline to Turkey instead.