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Russia pushes ahead with Turkey-EU pipeline plan

22nd January 2015

Russian and Gazprom officials have reaffirmed their plans to use a natural gas transit route through Turkey to access EU markets via a land crossing with Greece

Gazprom has reaffirmed its plans to use a natural gas transit route through Turkey to access EU markets via a land crossing with Greece
Russia plans to access European natural gas markets via a pipeline hub on the Turkey-Greece border

Gazprom is pushing forward with its plan to replace the now cancelled South Stream pipeline project with alternative transit route into the EU via Turkey.

At a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday between Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, energy minister Alexander Novak, and Gazprom chairman Alexey Miller, Novak warned that once current transit agreements via Ukraine expire in 2019, Russia will use Turkey as its means of delivery.

“In this context I told Mr. Sefcovic [European Commission vice president for Energy Union] that in December the Russian Federation made a decision on constructing a new gas pipeline route across Turkey with a hub on the border between Turkey and Greece with the annual gas supply to the hub in the amount of 63 billion cubic metres,” said Novak.

“Gazprom is currently taking steps to deliver this project jointly with its Turkish partners. It fully complies with the European law, and that is what the European Commission has been basically pressing for.”

“At present, bearing in mind that the transit agreement expires in 2019 and the gas volumes to be supplied to European consumers will be delivered to the border between Turkey and Greece, as I’ve already mentioned, the European Commission jointly with the consuming countries (Southeastern and Central Europe) have to promptly decide on developing their own infrastructure for the required gas volumes to reach European consumers.”

Russia claims that it was left with little choice but to scrap the South Stream Transport pipeline project in December 2014 following repeated opposition from EU officials.

“I’d like to point it out once again that South Stream was a great project,” said Medvedev.

“We actually did a lot of job as part of it. The decision made by the Russian Federation is neither political, nor by any means emotional – it is a legal decision based exactly on what you’ve mentioned. That is why all our attempts to get down to work came to nothing in fact. We were forced out of the project. That is the history of the project and the decisions adopted by the Russian Federation and rejected by the European Commission.

“It is sad, but life goes on and there is a whole range of other ideas you’ve just dwelled on. We are ready for cooperation but only under the terms we’ll be able to agree on.”

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