The European Union says it won’t block the construction of the South Stream pipeline in Serbia, but says the pipeline can only start shipping Russian natural gas into EU countries when it complies with EU laws.
Marlene Holzner, a spokeswoman for European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, made the remarks in Brussels on September 17.
She said Brussels cannot ban construction in Serbia, as it did earlier this year with EU member Bulgaria, because Serbia is not part of the EU.
The European Commission has said Gazprom is in violation of EU antitrust laws with plans that don’t allow other gas producers access to South Stream.
Peter Stano, a spokesman for Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele, said South Stream could hurt Serbia’s bid to join the EU because "all issues related to energy" must be in line with EU standards.