The European Union is not considering freezing South Stream but the construction of this pipeline is not a priority, a European Commission (EC) official has told Tanjug in Brussels.
The Commission will support the construction of any pipeline under the condition that it is built by European standards, Sabine Berger, spokeswoman for Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, told Tanjug.
She refused to comment on a Tuesday article published by the British The Telegraph, which stated that EC President Jose Manuel Barroso announced during a recent visit to Bulgaria that European Union is set to freeze the South Stream project.
We never comment on media reports dealing with private conversations by European officials, she said.
The spokeswoman said, however, that South Stream’s construction is not a priority for the EU. Our priority is to find new gas exporting countries to encourage diversification of supply, said Berger.
She told Tanjug that the EU and Russia are holding working group level talks aimed at bringing bilateral agreements on the pipeline’s construction signed between Russia’s Gazprom and six EU member states in compliance with EU regulations. Of course, a wider context of the European Union’s relations with Russia must be taken into account here, Berger said.
It is rumored in Brussels that the next few days can prove vital to the future of the relationship.