VIENNA, June 24 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom is holding a constructive dialogue with the European Commission about the construction of the Bulgarian section of the South Stream gas pipeline, the company's CEO Alexei Miller said on Tuesday.
"Major projects always face various working moments. I can say that we are in a constructive dialogue with the European Commission. The timeframe of the project has not yet been affected in any way, " Miller told the press upon signing the South Stream Austria joint venture agreement with the chairman of the Austrian oil and gas company OMV Gerhard Roiss.
Miller added that he maintains daily contact with European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, solving the problems "as they come."
The South Stream pipeline is to carry Russian gas to southern Europe across the Black Sea, bypassing Ukraine. The offshore part of the South Stream pipeline will run to the Bulgarian coast and further onward to Austria’s Baumgarten through Serbia and Hungary, with a total capacity of up to 63 billion cubic meters. As the pipeline runs through multiple European countries, the construction process needs to be negotiated with the European Energy Commission to comply with EU regulations for the sector. The pipeline is expected to become fully operational in 2018.