Now Russian gas to Europe to pass through Turkey

December 29th, 2011 - 4:40 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Dec 29 (IANS) Turkey has allowed Russia to build a gas pipeline through its part of the Black Sea, making it possible for Moscow to bypass Ukraine to deliver gas to Europe, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

“I would like to thank Turkey for the decision to give the final permission for construction of the South Stream gas pipeline along the bed of the Black Sea in the Turkish exclusive economic zone,” Putin said here after talks with visiting Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildyz.

Yildyz has handed Putin the official approval from the Turkish government to commence the construction, Xinhua reports.

Putin said Ankara’s decision was “a huge event in European energy life” and will contribute to stable gas supplies to the European market.

He noted that he was expecting positive response from Ukraine on the news.

Alexei Miller, CEO of the Russian gas giant Gazprom, said the project will be implemented by the end of 2015.

Gazprom and Turkey’s Botas state corporation also signed gas deals Wednesday, extending two contracts till 2025 and boosting gas supplies to Turkey by some eight percent, or two billion cubic meters, in 2012, said Miller.

The South Stream pipeline, initially proposed in 2007, was re-routed through the Turkish waters to bypass Ukraine.

Moscow and Kiev have long been at odds over price and volume of gas that Russia delivers to Europe via Ukrainian territory. Gazprom repeatedly accused Kiev of stealing gas from the transit pipeline.

Ankara has delayed its final say on the South Stream project several times, citing shortcomings in the technical documentation.

South Stream’s capability is planned to reach 63 billion cubic meters a year.

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