Hungary’s Prime Minister Not Intending to Give Up South Stream – Agency

MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the South Stream project meets the interests of the country and he does not plan to give it up, Reuters reported on Saturday.

The corresponding statement came amid discussions on further EU sanctions against Russia, which may affect the energy sector. Orban said that, although he supports Ukraine, he must think about the interests of his country first and that is why he will not reject the South Stream Project.

He added that, if maintaining good relations with Russia means laying a pipeline across Hungary, the country will certainly support the South Stream project.

The South Stream pipeline expected to carry Russian gas across the Black Sea to Southern and Central European countries, is aimed at diversification of export routes for Russian gas.

The project stalled when the European Commission expressed concern that Russia’s bilateral agreements with European transit countries, namely Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovenia, violate the EU Third Energy Package. According to these legislative proposals, the pipelines in the EU cannot belong to the natural gas extractors.

South Stream construction began in late 2012, with the first deliveries expected in 2016. The pipeline is to become fully operational in 2018.