(MENAFN - AzerNews) By Kamila Aliyeva
Russia will be ready to begin work on laying the Turkish Stream gas pipeline on the EU territory only after obtaining legal guarantees from Brussels.
This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a meeting with members of the Association of European Businesses on October 31, TASS reported.
"The growing need of the states of South and South-Eastern Europe could be satisfied by the extending the second thread of the Turkish Stream to the European Union. We see considerable interest from a number of EU governments and we are ready for it," he said.
But given the unsuccessful experience with the South Stream, we will be ready to start such work on the Turkish Stream only after obtaining solid legal guarantees from Brussels, Lavrov noted.
In 2014, Russia announced the termination of work on the South Stream project, which was to pass through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, in favor of a new gas pipeline towards Turkey.
The Turkish Stream envisages the construction of a gas pipeline along the seabed of the Black Sea to Turkey's European part and further on to the border with Greece. Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement on the implementation of the Turkish Stream project in October 2016.
The first stretch will be intended for the Turkish market and the second will supply natural gas to countries of South and Southeast Europe. Each stretch will have a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually. The pipeline is expected to annually pump 31.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
The realization of Turkish Stream has been frozen for some time due to the strained political relations between Moscow and Ankara, which followed the downing of Russian warplane in Syria.
Gazprom launched the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline's offshore section near the Russian coast of the Black Sea on May 7.The company has already built around 300 kilometers of the Black Sea segment of the TurkStream gas pipeline. The first line is scheduled for completion in March 2018 and the second in 2019.
Recently, Russian energy giant Gazprom and Hungary signed another agreement on gas supplies to the country via Turkish Stream. The continuation of the Turkish Stream to Hungary will be built before the end of 2019.
The project is beneficial for both sides. Turkish Stream will allow Gazprom toexpand its presence not only in the Turkish but also in the South European market, where its share faces competition from incoming Caspian gas. At the same time, Turkey will have the chance to upgrade its position from being an energy bridge to an energy market.