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European states line up for Turkish Stream gas, casting shadow on US LNG future

October 31/ 08:32

Moscow. A number of European countries have recently signaled willingness to receive Russian natural gas through the Turkish Stream pipeline. Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary are seeking to boost purchases of Russian hydrocarbons. In light of this trend the future of the expected US LNG boom seems bleak.

Although Brussels had managed to force Moscow to cancel its South Stream pipeline in 2014 Russian gas will find its way to southern Europe all the same: Russian President Putin has made it clear that the Kremlin was considering connecting the Italian Peninsula to the Turkish Stream, reports Sputnik.

"We are exploring all possibilities: and connecting Italy along various routes to the Turkish Stream, it can be through Bulgaria, it can be further through Serbia, Hungary, it can be through Greece, it's also cooperation due to the increasing volume of future supplies on 'Nord Stream 2'," the Russian president said during a press conference with Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte.

The South Stream — a Russian-Italian-French-German project — envisaged delivering Russian pipeline gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria, and then transporting hydrocarbons through the Balkan Peninsula to Italy and Austria. The plan was outlined by Russia's Gazprom and Italy's Eni in 2007, while in subsequent years they were joined by French company EDF (2010), and Germany's Wintershall Holding (2011).

However, in 2014 Brussels exerted pressure on Sofia over the Ukrainian crisis, forcing the international players to abandon the lucrative endeavor.

As Russian Senator Alexey Pushkov put it, "Bulgaria ditching the South Stream was a gross error, Turkey immediately seized its chance [with Turkish Stream], and Germany is building Nord Stream 2. A good lesson for Sofia."

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