Gazprom: South Stream will proceed as scheduled

Russia's gas and oil giant Gazprom said on Thursday that the construction of the South Stream natural gas pipeline "will proceed as scheduled."

Source: B92
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The statement came a day after the European Commission said that that the bilateral agreements to build the pipeline were "all in breach of EU law and need to be renegotiated."

"It is standard practice to underpin large cross-border investments by intergovernmental agreements in order to provide legal certainty and stability for investors. We are not a signatory to these agreements, but their contents have been public for years," Gazprom said, and added:

"This is why we are surprised and disappointed that the Commission voices its concerns only now, after construction works have begun. This unfortunate timing is even less comprehensible given that South Stream has been granted national priority status in several EU member states."

The construction of South Stream will proceed as scheduled and in full compliance with local laws and international standards, the Russian company noted in its statement.

"Remaining regulatory questions concerning the application of EU energy law can be clarified in parallel. We have now reached an agreement with EU regulators on OPAL, the onshore leg of Nord Stream. We believe it is possible to leverage the experiences gathered in this drawn-out process in order to swiftly establish a workable regulatory framework for the onshore segments of South Stream," said Gazprom.

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