In May, Serbian Foreign Minsiter Ivica Dacic said that Belgrade was interested in joining the project to deliver Russian gas to southern Europe via Turkey and called on the European Union to clearly determine its stance on the issue. Earlier in June, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Moscow was waiting to see what options Brussels will offer for building its internal gas infrastructure.
“The issue of energy security is extremely important for us. We laid high hopes on the South Stream. After it was cancelled we are looking for new sources [of energy]. Serbia is currently discussing all the possible streams, especially those that can bring Russian gas to Serbia. Turkish Stream is one of them,” Slavenko Terzic told RIA Novosti.
Terzic added that the difficulties in the project’s implementation “arise from the EU’s attitude toward Russia.” He expressed hope that they will be resolved taking into account the interests of all sides.
The Turkish Stream is a proposed pipeline from Russia to Turkey across the Black Sea with a planned annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of gas. It is expected to become operational in December 2016 and is a substitute for the South Stream pipeline project, cancelled in December 2014 over the position taken on it by the European Union.
The European Commission claimed that the South Stream would violate the EU Third Energy Package that prohibits simultaneous ownership of a pipeline and the gas that flows through it.
The Turkish Stream will run to a hub on the Turkish-Greek Border. From there, according to Novak, it might be extended to Austria through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary.