Russia halts plans for natural gas pipleine to Europe

Global Business

Russia has scrapped the south stream natural gas pipeline along the bottom of the Black Sea that would have bypassed Ukraine, providing an alternative route to Europe for Russian natural gas. Moscow’s souring relations with the EU is believed to be a major reason for this cancellation. CCTV America’s Tom Barton reported this story from Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of south stream in December 2012 saying it would be one of their biggest infrastructure projects. But, two years later the $40 billion project that involved Italian, French, German, and Russian energy giants to supply more gas to Europe has been halted.

The European Union has long said the project might break EU competition rules and is keen to reduce its reliance on Russian gas supplies. In 2006 and 2009 Russia reduced supplies to Europe in the winter over political disputes with Ukraine, and has done so more recently as well. Relations between Russia and the EU have been severely damaged by Russia’s perceived role in the Ukraine crisis.

“I think the attitude of European Union about this issue is negative. They didn’t help in any way for this project to happen but instead they blocked it. If Europe does not want to carry it out, then it will not be carried out, we are not going to make it happen,” Putin said.

Russian President says his country is now looking at other options, including building a major gas supply hub on the Turkish-Greek border.