US opposed to South Stream because of interest in supplying gas to Europe - Putin
The US is trying to disrupt Russia's gas pipeline project, South Stream, because it wants to supply gas to Europe itself. "We are in talks with our partners over contracts, not with third countries. That our US friends are unhappy about South Stream, well, they were unhappy in 1962 too, when the gas-for-pipe project with Germany began. Now they are unhappy again, nothing has changed, except the fact that they want to supply to the European market themselves," Putin stated.
"I can reassure you, it will not be cheaper than Russia's: piped gas is always cheaper than liquefied," the Russian president said.
On this issue, the US acts as Russia's rival, Putin said.
"This is a normal situation. They do everything to disrupt this contract. There is nothing unusual here. This is a normal competition. A competition which uses political methods among others," he said.
|Russian President Vladimir Putin|
The implementation of the South Stream project does not aim to bypass Ukraine or put anyone in a difficult situation - Russia is only acting in its own interests, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Several participants in South Stream come under pressure - Russian Energy Minister
"These is no desire to bypass Ukraine, these are the projects that started long ago. And the Nord Stream - is it a desire to bypass? No! And our Blue Stream towards Turkey across the bottom of the Black Sea. Is that our desire to put anyone in a difficult situation? No!" Putin told a press conference after talks with his Austrian counterpart in Vienna on Tuesday.
He also recalled the currently operating gas pipeline across Belarus and Poland.
"Is that a desire to bypass Ukraine? No. We are simply developing our transport infrastructure. One cannot insist all the time that we are doing something against something. We and our partners are doing this in our interests," Putin said.
For his part, Austrian President Heinz Fischer said that the signing of contracts by Austrian firms with Russian partners does not require approval from third countries.
"If a firm such as OMV signs an agreement with a Russian firm, no one in Austria will require that firm to agree on this with third countries," he said. "Other European countries should stick to the same principle," the Austrian president said.
Austria sees South Stream as an expedient and useful project, Austrian President Heinz Fischer said at a joint press conference with the Russian President.
If anyone criticizes Austria, let them turn their criticism on other member-countries and their companies, Fischer said, Interfax reports.
Austria's FM voices support for South Stream gas pipeline project
Austria does not intend to stop cooperating with Russia, said Austrian President Heinz Fischer.
I don't believe there will be a moment where a country such as Austria will be unwilling to talk to a partner, who has intense relations with us, he told a press conference after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
We know such a dialogue does not contradict any EU decision, Fischer said.
He added that Austria, certainly, sees itself as a loyal EU member. Even today I have no doubt about it, the Austrian president said. This is exactly why the EU is a peace project for me and we are member of this project, we are interested in a business-like quiet solution, he said, Interfax reports.
South Stream project to be carried out according to schedule - Russian energy minister
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he was sure the project to build the South Stream gas pipeline would be carried out in Bulgaria according to the schedule previously announced.
"Questions concerning Bulgaria have a working character [the European Commission previously suspended the project in Bulgaria], and are now being discussed. I think that everything will be fine and the project will be carried out strictly according to schedule," he told journalists, Interfax reports.
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