MOSCOW, December 2 (Sputnik) — The closure of the Russian South Stream gas pipeline will help Europe reduce energy dependence on Russia, the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.
"The failure of the South Stream is a sign of Europe's recovery from its dependence on Russian gas and a chance to eliminate side effects — Russia's attempts to manipulate the European policy," the spokesperson Yevhen Perebyinis wrote on his Twitter page.
On December 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow was unwilling to continue the implementation of the South Stream pipeline because of the European Commission's "non-constructive" stance. Later in the day Alexey Miller, the CEO of Russia's energy giant Gazprom, confirmed that Russia was closing the South Stream project and had no plans to revive it.
In 2012, Gazprom announced the construction of a South Stream pipeline across the Black Sea to reduce the chances of Russian gas being delivered to central and southern Europe through Ukraine being interrupted. The pipeline was expected to be fully operational by 2018.
The European Commission assumed a critical stance toward the project claiming that it violated the EU Third Energy Package, which stipulates that pipelines in its member countries cannot belong to natural gas producers. Moscow insists that the construction of the pipeline does not contradict the regulations.