Russia and Europe can return to the idea of construction of the gas pipeline “South stream”, despite the fact that currently the development of the project is not included in the agenda, said in an interview to “RIA Novosti” Deputy foreign Minister of Greece Nikos Xidakis.
“At the moment this issue is not officially on the agenda. However, he did not die completely. Despite the sanctions, the idea of implementation of the “South stream” remained alive. Following this logic, I can say that “South stream” can be revived”, — said Xidakis.
The diplomat noted that the “revival” of the “South stream” maybe “gentle steps” and “careful study”. However, he also pointed to the need to take into account the desire of European countries to energy independence and their reluctance to depend only on “one energy”source.
The gas pipeline “South stream” capacity of 63 billion cubic meters was assumed to stretch across the Black sea from compressor station “Russkaya” on the Russian coast to the Bulgarian coast. The total length of the black sea section was to be 925 km, maximum depth — more than 2.2 km Overland pipeline length 1455 km had to pass through the territories of Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia. The gas supply pipeline was planned to begin in late 2015, and the design capacity to withdraw in 2018.
1 Dec 2014 during his visit to Turkey Russian President Vladimir Putin announced about the abandonment of the project “South stream”, having explained this decision to the unconstructive position of the European Commission.
The replacement pipeline through the territory of Bulgaria was to be the “Turkish stream” gas pipeline of similar capacity, running under the Black sea and going through Turkey to Greece. After the relations between Ankara and Moscow deteriorated in connection with the downed Russian bomber su-24, the negotiations on the implementation of the “Turkish stream” was suspended.
At the beginning of January 2016 in the Bulgarian media, there were reports about the resumption of negotiations on the “South stream”, but the President’s press Secretary Dmitry Peskov issued a denial. Peskov stressed that “such a project does not exist”.
In the spring of 2016, Deputy energy Minister of Russia Yuri Senturin said that in Bulgaria “pose a question” on the resumption of negotiations on the “South stream”. Two months later, arrived on a visit to Greece, President Putin, referring to the story of the “South stream”, said that Moscow will no longer participate in joint European Union projects without the prior guarantees. “We need a pre-warranty. The words that this is of great interest, we will not buy and spend money on it will not” — said the Russian President.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the idea of turning Greece into “an energy hub” its “strategic intent.” Earlier “Gazprom”, the Italian Edison SpA and Greek DEPA SA signed a Memorandum of understanding, involving the supply of natural gas from Russia under the Black sea through third countries to Greece and from Greece to Italy.