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    There is no chance of reviving the South Stream pipeline construction project - Putin

    Putin Says No Chance of Reviving South Stream Project

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said that there is no chance of reviving the South Stream pipeline construction project after Moscow was not allowed to implement it.

    BUDAPEST (Sputnik) — There is no chance of reviving the South Stream pipeline construction project after Moscow was not allowed to implement it, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed.

    "We have not abandoned the South Stream project, we were not allowed to implement it. There are some details, which are known for a long time now, but, I guess, I should say it again. In April last year the European parliament made a decision in accordance to which the South Stream was considered unpromising, and even harmful for the European Union. After this, the European Commission sent a letter to Bulgaria, urging [it] to stop all the preparatory work," Putin said Tuesday.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Putin emphasized that Russia will not give up its cooperation with Turkey on the construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline, launched after the South Stream project was scrapped.

    "There will be, of course, no return to the South Stream project in an earlier proposed form. We have agreed with the Turkish partners, and Turkey, after Germany, if my memory serves me right, is Gazprom's second-largest partner in Europe in our gas purchase volumes," Putin said.

    The Russian president added, however, that Russia is ready to cooperate with the European Union on gas transit via the new pipeline, but everything depends on the European Commission.

    "We are ready to go through Greece… We have no intentions to close anything, to cut ourselves from anyone, but it is the logistics question now – where it is more profitable, where it is more efficient. But this is if they will help us. If they will hinder, then it is not our choice, it is the decision of the European Commission, of our European partners," Putin stated, emphasizing that Russia cherishes its reputation of a reliable energy resources supplier to Europe and Hungary.

    When commenting on Russian-Hungarian cooperation in the energy sector, Putin said that Moscow will give a positive response to Budapest's requests in this field after 2015, including with regard to the usage of gas storage facilities.

    Speaking alongside Putin on Tuesday, the Hungarian prime minister said his country remains "fully committed" to continue investments despite the fact that South Stream has been scrapped.

    Russia abandoned its years-old South Stream pipeline project that was to bring Russian natural gas across the Black Sea through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia to Italy and Austria last December, announcing a fallback plan to deliver the gas through Turkey.

    Russian energy giant Gazprom and its Turkish partner Botas have already mapped out the route of the new pipeline, dubbed Turkish Stream, with an inter-governmental agreement expected to be inked in the second quarter of 2015. The pipeline's first leg is scheduled to be constructed by the end of 2016.

    Related:

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    Transit Countries Should Have Final Say on South Stream Gas Pipeline – Poll
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    Vladimir Putin, South Stream gas pipeline, Russia
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