Turkish Stream mixed with South Stream: Russia comes back to idea of the construction of gas pipelines in the EU

Russia can partially return to the concept of the South Stream pipeline project, which was closed with scandal in December 2014. Statements, made by Vladimir Putin during his visit to Hungary, showed that under the new alternative project Turkish Stream Gazprom admits the construction of gas pipelines in South-Eastern Europe on an exemplary route of South Stream, although until now Russia insisted on the creation of infrastructure by the European Union itself. The position has changed, and Moscow is already discussing participation of Budapest in the project, allowing Hungary not to pay 3 billion euro for untaken gas.

By results of the talks with the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban President Vladimir Putin said that in the construction of the alternative pipeline through Turkey (Turkish Stream) "we, in fact, can implement a part of the former South Stream project through Turkey. We can use our agreements and joint ventures (on South Stream) with Serbia, Hungary, with other partners, we can come up with other partners through Austria, through Baumgarten". The Russian President stressed that "everything is possible if there is a desire from our European partners to cooperate, if we are not prevented”.

This approach looks a significant change as compared to what was said back in January by head of Gazprom Alexei Miller and the Energy Minister Alexander Novak. So, Mr. Miller stated that 48 billion cubic meters of Russian gas via Turkish Stream would be delivered to the border of Greece and Turkey, and the construction of gas pipelines in South-Eastern Europe for the delivery of gas to consumers in the Balkans, Italy and Central Europe was the task of the European Union.

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