Putin Out of the South Stream gas pipeline

Russian President Vladimir Putin, acknowledged Monday in Turkey who can not yet go ahead with the Russian-Italian South Stream gas pipeline project, a victim of European sanctions against Moscow in the framework of the Ukrainian crisis.

After a long meeting in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Putin justified the abandonment of the project in the rejection of Bulgaria, under pressure from the EU, to authorize the passage of the pipeline through its territory. “As we have not yet received permission from Bulgaria, we believe that in the current situation Russia can not continue to carry out the project,” Putin said during a joint press conference with Erdogan. “It’s over. The project ended,” confirmed to the press then CEO of Gazprom, Alexei Miller, quoted by Russian news agency.

The South Stream project, led by the Russian energy giant, has a cost of 16,000 million euros and aim to feed Europe with Russian gas, but bypassing Ukraine. The European Union (EU) blocked the project as part of sanctions against Moscow over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The South Stream, officially launched in December 2012, sought to unite Russia with Bulgaria in a distance of 3,600 kilometers and then head west to Europe through Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia. The estimated capacity was 63,000 million cubic meters per year.

Putin described as “ridiculous” continue investing “millions of dollars” in this project and harshly criticized the EU, which estimates that the contracts signed by Gazprom for this project violated European competition rules. “We think that the position of the European Union is not constructive. In fact, rather than support the project, the European Commission hinders” she complained. “If the EU does not want this pipeline, then there will be built,” said the Russian president, who warned that a part of this hydrocarbon deliveries to Europe could now be directed towards Asia.

Moreover, Putin also announced an increase in deliveries of Russian gas to Turkey of 3,000 million cubic meters. “We’re going to make a 6% reduction in the price of natural gas from January 1” to Turkey, he added. In addition, Moscow and Ankara signed an agreement for the construction of a pipeline between the two countries through the Black Sea.

The amount of trade between the two countries reached 32,700 million in 2013, while easily triple this volume expected to reach 100,000 million by 2023.

After a long meeting of the committee for joint cooperation, the two countries signed a number of other texts, especially in economic matters, showing the willingness of its leaders to strengthen their ties, despite political differences in the Ukrainian crisis in Syria .