Russia lobbies EU for South Stream

May 19, 2009 at 6:38 PM
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BERLIN, May 19 (UPI) -- Russia wants a pipeline linking the country to Europe via the Balkans to become a European Union priority project, a senior Gazprom official said Tuesday.

Alexander Medvedev, deputy chief executive of Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom, said Tuesday at a Russian-German gas conference in Berlin that his company was applying to include South Stream on the list of EU priority projects, RIA Novosti reports.

"We want to work together with the EU to realize South Stream as quickly as possible," Medvedev said at a news conference.

The European Commission lists several energy priority projects, including the gas pipelines Nord Stream, linking Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, and Nabucco, the EU's pet project aimed at reducing energy dependence on Russia. Nabucco is designed to transport gas from Caspian and Middle Eastern sources to Europe, bypassing Russia.

Moscow had launched South Stream as a rival to Nabucco, and it remains to be seen whether the EU will list South Stream as a priority project.

Last week, Gazprom signed agreements with transit states Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Italy to speed up South Stream.

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