Monday, January 26, 2009
Gazprom: South Stream gas pipeline project to go ahead despite world crisis
24 January, 2009 - Interfax-Ukraine - Budapest - The global financial crisis will not lead to either the scrapping or the delay of the South Stream pipeline project, a plan to transport Russian natural gas along the Black Sea to the Balkans and further to Italy, said Alexander Medvedev deputy chief executive of Gazprom. This year "is dedicated to preparing a feasibility study for all routes of the pipeline, [and] as soon as the feasibility study is finished it will lead to an investment decision," Medvedev told reports in Budapest on Saturday. "We have no major reason to put back the deadline for the implementation of the project," he said. South Stream is one of several pipeline projects designed to bypass Ukraine. Nord Stream, another Russian back project, envisions building a pipeline along the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany and further to the United Kingdom. Russia's devastating financial crisis of 1998 did not stop another Gazprom project, Blue Stream, from coming into being, Medvedev said. "Blue Stream was put into practice at the peak of the crisis of 1998. Nothing can make a good project be canceled or put off," he said. Medvedev was speaking after he attended a meeting in Budapest of a Russian-Hungarian economic cooperation commission.