Russian FM Names Conditions for Extending Turkish Stream Project to Europe

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline will extend further to Europe only if the European Commission provides ironclad guarantees that the project will not be obstructed, Tass news agency reported.

“The second [line] will only be constructed if we receive ironclad guarantees from the European Commission that they will not pull the same trick as it happened with the South Stream regarding Bulgaria,” the minister said, speaking at an annual news conference on Monday.

He added that Bulgaria is again “ready to consider the possibility of taking the second line of the Turkish Stream, as the first line of the pipeline is being built to deliver gas to Turkey at the moment.

“We will be ready to accept any option wholly guaranteed by the European Commission, which will not be broken,” Lavrov stressed.

According to Russia’s top diplomat, discussions are currently underway in the European Commission “with a view to invent certain new rules post factum” against another Russian project – Nord Stream 2.

“Rather dirty play, of course, but hopefully a purely economic nature of the project and the fact that it is supported as an economic and commercial project by leading European energy companies will still prevent those dishonest games from getting the upper hand,” Lavrov said.

When commenting on the U.S. policy to stand against Russian energy projects, the minister again stressed, that he sees “the fear of fair competition.”

“As they are not yet good enough at a fair competition, they are shifting to unfair competition, to political pressure, to making European countries build respective facilities (to take U.S.-made liquefied natural gas) and receive more expensive gas. This is the choice of European countries, while we assume that they should be aware of their economic interests themselves,” Lavrov explained.