MOSCOW, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A Nord Stream gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany will diversify supply lines to Europe, a need underscored by a recent supply disruption, Russia said.
"The need to diversify routes of supplying gas from my country to EU member states has been underlined by this crisis," Russian ambassador Vladimir Chizhov told the EU Observer, referring to recent disruptions caused by a dispute between Russia and Ukraine.
The new natural gas pipeline would be completed by 2011, the newspaper reported Wednesday.
France is expected to join Germany in support of the project.
"We (are) interested in participation in Nord Stream under the condition we would be a partner and there would be contracts for extra gas supply in addition to whatever percentage we would have in the pipeline," said a spokeswoman for Gaz de France.
Russia also believes the recent supply crisis will boost support for a South Stream project designed to deliver gas to Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Italy. the Observer said.
South Stream and Nord Stream "will provide a circle ... of energy security," Chizhov said.
"If the circle is broken at one point for whatever reason ... the rest of the circle will work," he said.