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EU and US against South Stream route

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World Pipelines,

The South Stream natural gas pipeline project, intended to transport Russian gas to Europe via Greece and Italy, has been causing disputes from the EU and US.

Amos Hochstein, the US State Department’s special envoy, said the pipeline was a "political project with a political goal. The proposals are simply restating political projects that have questionable economic value especially in these market conditions.”

Reservations from numerous countries were expressed mere days after the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed for the pipeline project. It was signed by Greece (Public Gas Corporation), Italy (Edison) and Russia (Gazprom).

European Energy Commissioner Marcos believes the MoU “is just a declaration, a common approach and a common position. We reserve the right to assess the efficiency of the project.”

Hochstein similarly stated: "We aren’t looking to exclude Russian gas from European market. But what we are suggesting is that European countries should be able to choose their supplier and force their suppliers to compete for their business. That is what is good for energy security of Europe, economic security and ultimately for the national security of those countries involved … Every investment plan should be examined as to what extent it is a political plan or based on financial data.”

As a result, the EU and US are distancing themselves from the revival of Gazprom’s South Stream project.

Edited from various sources by Stephanie Roker

Sources: Bloomberg, Balkans, Ekathimerini

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