EU May Still Consider Russian Gas Imports Via Turkish Stream

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The European Commission, which stands for the continuation of Russian gas transit to Europe via Ukraine after 2019, has not completely ruled out a possibility to receive gas from Russia via the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, European Commission Vice President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic said Wednesday.

ISTANBUL (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Sefcovic held a meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress in Istanbul. The sides discussed the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project for the deliveries of Russian natural gas to Turkey and Eastern Europe.

"We did not go that far, it was a preliminary discussion. We will need to analyze this issue. What is very important for us is to assess all the needs for gas in Europe. We have our own forecasts that demand in the EU could be between 380-450 bcm in 2030. Then the question is of course what will be the most commercially viable way to receive gas," Sefcovic told RIA Novosti in an interview answering the question whether Brussels had completely excluded the possibility of receiving Russian gas via the Turkish Stream.

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According to Sefcovic, the Southern Gas Corridor, which carries natural gas from Azerbaijan to Georgia into Turkey and on through Greece and Albania into southern Italy, has been a key EU project in the region for a long time, while the agreement on the Turkish Stream had just been signed.

On Monday, Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement on the gas pipeline, which envisions the construction of two underwater legs in the Black Sea, with the annual capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters each. The pipeline is expected to deliver gas from Russia to Turkey and continue to a hub on the Turkish-Greek border, from where the gas could be transferred to other European countries.

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