Russian PM: Turkish Stream will enter EU via Bulgaria or Greece

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) shaking hands with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (R) during the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Summit. Istanbul, 22 May. [EPA]

Russia is in negotiations with Greece and Bulgaria regarding the entry point on EU territory of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is quoted as saying by the Russian press.

The Gazprom-sponsored pipeline Turkish Stream, also called TurkStream, will pump 31.5 billion cubic metres per year of Russian gas to Europe under the Black Sea, helping Moscow limit the gas transit through Ukraine. Its entry point is on the European territory of Turkey, not far from Bulgaria and Greece.

Turkish Stream replaced South Stream, another Gazprom project to bring Russian gas to the Bulgarian shores. The project was suspended after the Commission threatened to impose infringements on Bulgaria over the many irregularities in its intergovernmental project with Russia to build the pipeline.

Barroso warns Bulgaria on South Stream case: 'We will act'

Speaking after EU leaders met in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the aftermath of the European elections, Commission President José Manuel Barroso said that the EU executive would impose infringements on Bulgaria regarding the Gazprom-favoured South Stream pipeline, the construction of which is about to begin in breach with EU laws.

Since Turkish Stream was announced as an alternative, both Bulgaria and Greece expressed interest in carrying the Russian gas further in the EU.

Tsipras: ‘Turkish Stream’ will have another name on Greek territory

During a press conference with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday (8 April), Greek PM Alexis Tsipras expressed his country’s will to play a big role in the Turkish Stream pipeline project aiming to boost investments in the cash-strapped economy. EURACTIV Greece reports.

“Within the framework of negotiations that are conducted with a number of European countries, we will determine where it is best to establish an entry point to Europe” Medvedev said, speaking at the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Summit in Istanbul yesterday (22 May).

He continued:

“There are different proposals. Negotiations are conducted with a number of European countries – namely Greece and Bulgaria. When making decisions on this topic, economic factors should be analysed, because the gas pipeline, as we have repeatedly said, is not a political project, it is a purely economic project, and other European countries can be associated with it, “Medvedev said.

The Russian Prime Minister said that the pipeline extension on the territory of the EU depended on the decisions of the European countries.

“We do not want to impose anything on anyone. We proceed from the fact that this is an interesting mutually beneficial project, and the necessary decisions should be made”, he said.

Medvedev reiterated the underwater part of the pipeline, some 1,000 km long, was already under construction. Once the latter is completed, the construction of the on-shore section of Turkish Stream (200 km in length) will begin in Turkey.

According to the Russian press, Gazprom plans a first line of the gas pipeline to supply gas to Turkish consumers, while the second will serve customers in South and South-Eastern Europe. The capacity of the first and second threads of the Turkish Stream will be 15.75 billion cubic meters each. Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.

According to reports the Bulgarian authorities have suggested that on of the threads of Turkish Stream should go to the Bulgarian shore, where South Stream was planned to land.

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