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Russia abandons South Stream gas pipeline project due to EU opposition

Russia has dropped its plan to develop South Stream gas pipeline project, which would have supplied natural gas to Southern Europe through the Baltic Sea.

Russia President Vladimir Putin said that the Russia's state gas giant Gazprom-funded project has been dropped due to opposition from European Union (EU).

The country is now considering cooperation with Turkey for the development of a gas hub for southern Europe.

In October 2013, construction work of the 930km South Stream project commenced in Bulgaria but was halted in June 2014 following a claim by the EU that the work violated the EU competition rules, reports BBC.

Sputnik International? quoted Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller as saying to reporters: "The project is closed. This is it."

Miller said that Gazprom plans to launch up a legal entity for new pipeline development which will have an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters aimed at supplying Russia's natural gas to Turkey as well as to customers in Southern Europe.

"Gazprom and [Turkey's] Botas company signed today a memorandum of understanding on the construction of a Black Sea gas pipeline to Turkey with annual capacity of 63 bln cubic meters.

"A total of 14 bln cubic meters will be supplied to Turkey...while the rest will be pumped to a hub on the Turkish-Greek border [to be delivered to customers in Southern Europe].

Putin said: "Taking account of the fact that until now we have not received permission from Bulgaria, we believe that in the current conditions Russia cannot continue with the realisation of this project."

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