Russia Mulls Freezing South Stream Gas Line

July 21, 2011
Russia could soon temporarily suspend its gas pipeline project "South Stream" and increase gas export to Europe thanks to Germany as a reliable partner.

The information was reported by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, citing the Russian daily Kommersant and an unnamed source from the Russian cabinet.

In August 2009, Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed an agreement to have the pipeline pass under Turkish Black Sea waters.

In exchange, Moscow was to build the "Samsun-Ceyhan" oil line, which is very favorable for Turkey, and to the detriment of the Russian "Burgas-Alexandroupolis" oil line, along with the first Turkish Nuclear Power Plant to be built by the Russian State company Rosatom.

Despite all of the above, and Ankara's initial commitment to a December 2010, deadline, Russia is yet to receive a green light for "South Stream" to go under Turkish waters.

The new deadline for the Turkish side to give an answer is November 2011, but according to same Russian cabinet source, it is very likely this deadline would end up not being adhered to.

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