World Bulletin / News Desk
Austria and Slovenia backed Friday the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline, calling it an important project to ensure a stable energy supply in the region.
"I believe that the South Stream project is the right and possible path to ensure a mid-term energy supply sustainability", Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann told journalists after meeting his Slovenian and Croatian counterparts at Brdo pri Kranju near Ljubljana.
He added "Austria in principle backs the South Stream project... and we believe it should be carried out for the mid- and long-term sustainable supply of natural gas."
Faymann's remarks came ahead before Russian President Vladimir Putin visit to Vienna next Tuesday where Moscow is expected to try to secure Austrian support for the Gazprom-led pipeline after Bulgaria suspended work on the project under pressure from the European Union.
During a regular meeting with the prime ministers of Slovenia Alenka Bratusek and Croatia Zoran Milanovic, Faymann discussed the fate of the South Stream project.
Bratusek also backed South Stream, calling "it is a vital infrastructure project" to ensure energy security.
"There are still some technical issues that remain open and have to be solved with the EU," she said referring to Brussels' call on all 28 member states to stand united in resisting pressure from the Kremlin over the project.
The European Commission believes the pipeline breaches the bloc's competition rules.Last Mod: 23 Haziran 2014, 15:56