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Putin: Turkish Stream pipeline project to happen if Turkey gets guarantees from Brussels

The Russian president underlines that the project's fate depends on other sides, not just Russia
Russia's President Vladimir Putin Artiom Korotaev/TASS
Russia's President Vladimir Putin
© Artiom Korotaev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 17. /TASS/. The Turkish Stream gas pipeline project will be realized if Turkey manages to obtain guarantees from Brussels. That's according to Russia's President Vladimir Putin, speaking at his annual press conference Thursday.

"We need guarantees in writing from the European Commission, that all routes including the potential one to Europe through Turkey may not only be realized, but will become a priority with the EC's support. If Gazprom's Turkish partners bring us a document of this sort, we can move on. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened for now," the President said, underlining that the project's fate depends on other sides, not just Russia.

According to Putin, the Nord Stream was implemented "ever more to the point".

"It hasn’t seen conditions created for filling it by 100%, particularly regarding the pipelines located within the Federal Republic of Germany. One route has 50% while the other has zero. But all this is potential and I’m sure it will come useful," Putin said.

The agreement to construct the pipeline within the Turkish Stream project was reached in December 2014. According to the initial plan, the capacity of 4 lines of the pipeline will be 63 bln cubic meters of gas per year, with 16 bln to be supplied to Turkey and 47 bln — to the gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border. In October, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said the company will only construct 2 lines of the pipeline so far as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline can cover Europe’s growing demand for gas.

At the same time it was announced that the talks on signing the intergovernmental agreement were postponed due to the political situation in Turkey where the cabinet of ministers was being appointed at the time.

On December 3rd Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak said talks on building the Turkish Stream pipeline have been suspended.

Putin surprised by Bulgarian leadership’s toothless stance on South Stream

According to Putin the Bulgarian leadership’s "toothless stance" on the South stream project contradicted the country’s national interests.

"I am surprised by the toothless stance of the Bulgarian leadership. It ignores the country’s national interests for some unclear reasons," Putin said at the annual news conference on Thursday.

He clarified that Russia was supposed to invest 3 billion (euros) in the South Stream project (including the jobs, salaries and revenues to all budget levels. After that, Bulgaria would have earned 400 million euros worth of revenues from gas transit).

"You know our stance. We were ready to implement the project but we were simply not allowed to do that," the president said.

"At first, the European Parliament decided that the project did not meet the EU interests. Then, the European Commission demanded that Bulgaria stop all preparatory works. After that, all of a sudden, a Dutch regulator allowed us to start construction in the sea. But how could we start building (the pipeline) in the sea and drown billions of euros in it so as to burrow our faces into the Bulgarian shore later," Putin explained.

On December 1, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that under the current circumstances Russia would no longer implement the South Stream project. Gazprom’s Chief Alexey Miller said in turn that the South Stream project had lost its significance.

In December 2014, Gazprom’s Italian partner Saipem affiliated with the ENI group was notified that the South Stream had been stopped.

The South Stream project worth €15.5 billion and was intended to deliver 67 billion CBM of gas to Europe.