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11 Nov, 2009 14:58

Russia, Austria to sign cooperation deal on South Stream construction

Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, says that Russia and Austria will soon sign a cooperation agreement on construction of the South Stream gas pipeline.

Speaking after talks with the Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, Putin emphasised that the agreement would be concluded as soon as possible, increasing stability and reliability to Europe’s gas supply with new delivery routes.

“We are certain that this new route is of great importance to stable energy supply for European consumers and for raising the reliability of hydrocarbons supplies.”

The Russian PM also noted that the push for new supply routes showed Russia was committed to ensuring gas supply, adding that gas disputes in recent years involving transit nations, which have caused cuts in Europe were the result of other nations actions.

“No setbacks in gas shipments connected with the emergence of transit countries have ever been, or will ever occur, on the Russian side.” And adding “If our partners pay us for the domestic consumption of gas, they will receive this gas. If they don't pay – they won't receive it. If they don't receive it – then, most likely they will take it from the export gas pipeline. As soon as they start taking it – we will decrease the amount of gas we ship.”

Chancellor Faymann added that Austria’s underground gas storage system can hold enough gas to last for three months should shipments be interrupted by transit countries.