MARIBOR, July 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russia hopes that all countries that had joined the South Stream gas pipeline deal will continue their participation in the project, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.
“It’s in our interest that all those who undertook to participate in the South Stream via intergovernmental agreements continue their participation,” Lavrov said.
“We are convinced that it is necessary to remove all artificial obstacles to implementation of [the South Stream], and act in accordance with the [previously] concluded intergovernmental agreements,” Lavrov said.
On Monday, the foreign minister stated that the realization of South Stream, which was suspended by EU following the unrest in Ukraine, “will contribute seriously to the complex energy security of Europe”.
Lavrov added that Moscow was ready for constructive dialogue with all the stakeholders of the project.
The construction of South Stream was challenged due to tense relations between Moscow and Brussels over the Ukrainian crisis.
The European Commission took a critical stance on the project, which bypasses Ukraine, claiming that construction of the pipeline violated the EU Third Energy Package. Under this document Russian Gazprom can fill the pipe only up to half of its full capacity. The Russian gas giant called the restrictions discriminatory, noting the importance of South Stream for providing energy safety for Southern European countries.