LAGONISSI, Greece – Russia will build a second line of the TurkStream or Turkish Stream gas pipeline stretching across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further to Turkey’s border with neighboring countries, only if Moscow receives assurances from the European Commission, Russia’s ambassador to the EU told New Europe.

“Turkish Stream is nearing completion, the first pipeline,” Russia’s representative to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, told New Europe on June 15 in Lagonissi, south of Athens, referring to the first string of TurkStream, which is intended for Turkish consumers. “The second one, they haven’t started yet. But they will build it on the condition that there are solid guarantees from the European Commission,” he added, refereeing to the second string intended to deliver gas to southern and southeastern Europe.

“We don’t want a repetition of the South Stream a few years ago, you know that” Chizhov quipped. Citing efforts of the European Commission to block South Stream because it did not comply with the EU’s Third Energy Package, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom abandoned the project in December 2014.

Each string of Turkish Stream will have the throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic metres of gas per year. South Stream Transport BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gazprom, is responsible for the construction of the gas pipeline’s offshore section, which commenced on May 7, 2017. “We’re in talks with everybody,” Chizhov said, asked if Russia was discussing TurkStream with Greece, which could be a transit country for Russian gas to Europe.