Putin says Russia will drop South Stream if EU does not approve it

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 01, 2014 12:52 PM

ANKARA (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday Russia could not carry on with the South Stream gas pipeline project if the European Union was opposed to it.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Putin cited reluctance by the European Commission to grant the green light to the project to supply southern Europe with gas via Bulgaria, bypassing Ukraine.

"If Europe does not want to carry out (South Stream), then it will not be carried out," he said.

Putin said Russia would reduce the gas price for Turkey by 6 percent, starting next year, and had agreed to supply Turkey with an additional 3 billion cubic meters. Last year, 13.7 bcm of gas were pumped to Turkey via Blue Stream.

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He said Russia was potentially ready to build a gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border to supply Europe with gas to compensate for the loss of South Stream.

(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Kevin Liffey)