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South Stream project threatened, says Scaroni

Sanctions against Russia over Ukraine crisis affecting Saipem

20 March, 17:51
South Stream project threatened, says Scaroni (ANSA) - Rome, March 20 - The future of the South Stream pipeline project looks "rather bleak" because of sanctions related to the Ukrainian crisis, Paolo Scaroni, chief executive officer of energy giant Eni, said Thursday. Subsidiary Saipem, Europe's largest oil-service provider, last week reached a two-billion-euro deal to work on the pipeline project with Russia's Gazprom.

The plan was to extend the South Stream gas pipeline under the Black Sea to southern Europe. However, State-owned Gazprom will likely be a target of European Union sanctions related to Russia's involvement in Ukraine.

EU leaders were meeting Thursday in Brussels where they were expected to discuss tougher economic sanctions on Russia.

Tensions have been running high since Moscow approved a treaty enabling Crimea, an autonomous republic in Ukraine, to join Russia.