MOSCOW, July 7 (RIA Novosti) – Both Russian and European consumers will benefit from the South Stream gas pipeline construction, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Bulgarian Focus News Agency.
“[It is] obvious that the South Stream gas pipeline will contribute seriously to the complex energy security of Europe, helping the diversification of the gas delivery routes. This will be to everyone’s profit – both Russia and the European consumers’, including Bulgaria,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov stated that Russia would continue advancing with the South Stream project. “We should not allow Europe being used for someone else’s interests and being turned into a hostage of improvident ideological approaches,” the foreign minister stated.
“We know that the European Commission (EC) has its position on the construction and on the future functioning of the pipeline in the context of the regulations under the Third Energy Package of the EU,” Lavrov said, adding that bilateral intergovernmental agreements between Russia and South Stream participants take precedence and that “European legislation should not be applied retrospectively and hamper the agreements under the South Stream gas pipeline project made at an earlier stage.”
Lavrov also said Moscow is ready for constructive dialogue with all the stakeholders of the project.
On July 3, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin said Bulgaria hopes to continue construction of the South Stream gas pipeline project across its territory in the next few weeks, after receiving the relevant explanations from the European Commission.
In June, Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski ordered the South Stream project be put on hold following a request from the European Commission.