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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to Promote South Stream Project Despite Current Challenges – Putin

RIA Novosti

18:24 01/07/2014

MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will continue promoting the South Stream pipeline project regardless of the difficulties, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

"We have always valued our reputation of a reliable supplier of energy resources and invested in the development of gas infrastructure. Together with European companies, as you know, we have built a new gas transportation system South Stream along the Baltic seabed. And, despite the difficulties, we will promote the South Stream project," the president stated.

According to Putin, more and more European politicians and business people understand that the European Union is simply being "used" in the interests of some, whereby EU member states become hostage to the ideological approach of the Brussels bureaucracy.

"I mean, first of all, The Third Energy Package and the limitations embedded in it, which actually hinder the diversification of energy supplies to the European market," Putin concluded.

Alexei Miller, CEO of Russian gas giant Gazprom, stressed that the South Stream project is in the interests of the countries involved and will in the end be completed, speaking at the company's annual general meeting of shareholders last week.

Miller's statement came shortly after EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said South Stream pipeline construction should be suspended until the project complies with the EU Third Energy Package. The European Commission insists that companies involved in gas production cannot be the owners of long-distance pipelines in the region, while Gazprom believes the EU is attempting to discriminate against the Russian company.

South Stream is to carry Russian natural gas to export destinations in southern Europe across the Black Sea, bypassing Ukraine. Construction started in 2012 as a move to diversify export routes for Russian gas. The total capacity of the pipeline is estimated at up to 63 billion cubic meters. South Stream is expected to become fully operational in 2018.

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