Europe needs the “South Stream” and is not interested in freezing the project

19 august 2014 | Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Bulgaria has suspended all actions regarding the implementation of the project “South Stream”. Such order was signed by the Minister for Economy and Energy of the Technical Government Vasil Shtonov. According to him, the project will remain frozen until it meets the requirements of the European Commission.

Alexander Kurdin
Alexander Kurdin
Department for Strategic Studies in Energy

“Considering the economic preconditions, Europe needs the “South Stream” and is not interested in freezing the project – Head of the Department for Strategic Studies in Energy of the Analytical Center Alexander Kurdin commented the situation to the “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”. - Another thing is that the crisis in relations between the European Union and Russia must be inevitably reflected on the “South Stream”. The expert believes that mutual sanctions were introduced considering that the conflict will not be continued and will be resolved until the winter. According to him, the sanctions will be mitigated or eliminated, and this will allow the European authorities to relent their attitude towards joint energy projects.

Ms. Kurdin also noted that in any case a problem will remain regarding the compliance of the “South Stream” to the “Third Energy Package”, which provides deprivation of control over the pipelines from the energy suppliers. Another thing is that the pressure of the Brussels authorities on specific European countries involved in the project will decrease. Thus, according to the expert, construction of the “South Stream” and settlement of legal conflicts can be performed simultaneously. And a compromise should be reached – “Gazprom” will be allowed temporarily or permanently to combine gas production and its transportation to Europe, said Mr. Kurdin.