Putin keeps South Stream pipeline on agenda ahead of Athens visit

Putin and TspirasSouth Stream: Russia is still interested in working out a way of building a pipeline along the bed of the Black Sea as a means of transporting gas to Europe via the Balkans, President Putin told the Greek newspaper Kathimerini in an interview published today to coincide with his visit to Athens.
“Gazprom has been actively promoting the South Stream project since 2006,” he said. “However, at a certain point, its implementation became impossible due to the unconstructive stance adopted by the European Commission. Despite the fact that we had to suspend the project, issues relating to Southern routes of energy shipment to the European Union States are still on the agenda. In February, the heads of Gazprom, Edison (Italy) and DEPA (Greece) signed in Rome a Memorandum of Understanding on the supply of Russian natural gas to Greece and Italy along the Black Sea bottom through third countries.” Russia could also help streamline the Greek transport infrastructure, he added, referring to the likelihood of Russian companies bidding to acquire the assets of railway companies and the port facilities at Thessaloniki.
The Russian president also appears to be adopting a more conciliatory attitude in his remarks about the the EU as a whole.
“Russia and the European Union have come to a crossroads, where we need to answer the following question: how do we see the future of our relations and which way are we going to head? I am convinced that we should draw appropriate conclusions from the events in Ukraine and proceed to establish, in the vast space stretching between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, a zone of economic and humanitarian cooperation based on the architecture of equal and indivisible security. Harmonizing European and Eurasian integration processes would be an important step in this direction.”

Source: www