Serbia will not accept the European Union's (EU) opposition to the TurkStream pipeline extension project as it did when the Union opposed the South Stream project four years ago, the Serbian Minister of Energy and Mining Aleksandar Antic told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 5th Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue in Berlin, Antic said that Europe displayed 'double standards' against Serbia over the South Stream project four years ago, a stance that he insisted would not be accepted again over the TurkStream project.
“In the past, we had some completely different approach from the EU over the South Stream project,” Antic said.
The South Stream was due to transit across the Black Sea in parallel with one string of the Turkish Stream but then terminate in Bulgaria rather than in Turkey.
“The project was suppressed by the European Commission because they took the position that this project was against some elements of its fourth energy package and so no stream was built,” Antic explained.
“Serbia faced double standards four years ago over the South Stream project,” he claimed. “We understand that everything is political and is part of some strategic game. Western countries are stronger and more important than poor countries from the Balkans,” he contended.
According to Antic, Germany and Western Europe have energy security, however, he noted that this is not the case in the Balkans, particularly with Bosnia, Bulgaria and Serbia.
The Serbian minister said that four years have passed since the South Stream project, but now his country is ready to be a part of the extension of the TurkStream pipeline.
“We are trying our best to build the TurkStream extension from Turkey to Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and central Europe. It is very important for our energy security and gas security supply in our region," he said.
Ukraine, along with some European countries, opposes the TurkStream project's second line as they consider that it will contribute to an increase in Russia's monopoly in the European gas market.
The TurkStream, consisting of two lines, will have a total capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters of gas.
By Bahattin Gonultas in Berlin