Russian Minister passes Turkish Stream buck back to Brussels

Russia will only agree to build a European extension to its Turkish Stream pipeline once it receives cast-iron guarantees that it will not meet with opposition from Brussels, its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said yesterday, effectively calling on the EU not to block the proposed new pipeline in the manner that it put paid to plans to build a similar gas distribution channel through Bulgaria two years ago.
Lavrov’s remarks follow the signing of an inter-governmental agreement on October 10 between Russia and Turkey that paved the way for the first leg of the Turkish Stream pipeline from Russia’s Krasnodar gas fields to be laid along the bed of the Black Sea. The project had been temporarily suspended after a Russian jet was shot down over the Turkish- Syria border in November last year, but, after Russian intelligence purportedly helped President Erdogan nip last summer’s attempted coup in the bud, has subsequently been revived.
While the first part of Turkish Stream will help ease Turkey’s growing energy shortage, the big prize for both Russia and Ankara (which stands to earn substantial transit fees from its extension) lies in opening up a new supply channel for Russian gas into Europe. Moscow, however, appears determined not to repeat the South Stream debacle, when it felt forced to abandon plans to route the Black Sea pipeline to Bulgaria after it fell foul of EU Third Energy Package regulations which prohibit energy suppliers from also owning the transportations networks. 
“For more than 20 years, Russia has been a reliable energy supplier providing 60% of  [Europe’s] gas needs and over 15% of  its oil needs” he told the fourth Greek-Russian Energy Forum in Athens”……The bitter experience with the South Stream project has taught us a lesson. We will be ready to extend this branch to the territory of the European Union only after we receive strong 100% guarantees from Brussels that the project will be implemented. We hope that Brussels will be guided by pragmatic, not political considerations,” he added.

Source: tass