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Russia awaits EU guarantees to extend Turkish Stream to Europe

Russia is ready to expand the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project to Europe if the EU is willing to agree on taking its gas, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.

 The TurkStream project, whose intergovernmental agreement between Turkey and Russia was signed Oct. 10 in Istanbul, plans to supply gas to Europe via Greece.

"After the failure of South Stream, we will be ready to extend Turkish Stream to the territory of the European Union only after we received an unambiguous formal paper that guarantees the implementation of this project," Lavrov said on Tuesday, speaking to European businessmen in Moscow.

Lavrov stressed that, according to experts, "in the foreseeable future it will be very difficult for EU countries to live without Russian energy resources.”

One line, with 15.75 billion cubic meters in capacity, is expected to supply the Turkish market, with a second line potentially carrying gas to Europe if a formal agreement of intention to receive supplies from the EU is made, he said.

The project, announced by Putin during a December 2014 visit to Turkey, will carry gas from Russia under the Black Sea to Turkey's Thrace region.

Chairman of Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom's Management Committee, Alexey Miller said Monday that two lines of the TurkStream would be ready by the end of 2019.

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